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NAGP demands place in GMS negotiations

There was unanimous support for an amended motion by NAGP Chairman Dr Andrew Jordan which proposed that “the NAGP’s 1,482 members call on the Minister for Health/DOH/HSE to begin negotiations with the NAGP”.

Dr Ben Parameter tabled a motion “that in the event that the Department of Health releases a new GMS contract without engaging in contract negotiations with the NAGP, that the NAGP recommends that all members withdraw their involvement from the out of hours co-ops until such time that the Department of Health withdraws such a contract and permits the NAGP to negotiate on behalf of its members”.

“At what stage are we going to say no, and tell them to stop forcing their [nationalisation] agenda on us,” said Dr Parameter, who acknowledged it was a “high-risk, controversial strategy”. However, after some debate, his motion was narrowly defeated.

Addressing delegates, NAGP CEO Mr Chris Goodey said it was frustrating the NAGP was still ostracised from negotiations on the new GP contract but he maintained that relations with the Department of Health were beginning to thaw, following a “positive” meeting last November.

 He said he was optimistic that the NAGP “will take its rightful place at the negotiating table” after the election. He also told the Medical Independent that he believed the Department had taken strong note of the NAGP’s submission document on the contract.

Outgoing NAGP President Dr Conor McGee also reiterated that it was “bizarre” that the only sole representative body for GPs, and the one “that had actually canvased the views of GPs as to what should be included in the contract” was still not involved in the negotiations.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar was invited to attend the AGM, but did not, due to reported diary conflicts.

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