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The Association said it respects the statement by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that there needs to be a respectful, informed debate, regarding a potential repeal of the 8th amendment of the Constitution.
“However, without consultation, the Minster for Health appears to assume that if there is to be legal abortion in the State, that this service will be GP-led,” outlined the Association. “The NAGP strongly objects to the assumption that this will be a GP-led service. Its members are outraged that there has been no consultation.”
Dr Emmet Kerin, President of the NAGP, remarked: “I was alarmed to hear the Minister’s comments and presumption that the State would direct GPs to lead an abortion service without any engagement with our members to discuss the implications of this notion. The growing disconnect of the Minister and his Department of Health from the frontline service of general practice is of genuine concern to me.”
Dr Kerin further commented that GPs are dedicated to the health of their patients but feel that their work supporting “the increasingly chaotic healthcare system” receives no acknowledgment. “For the Minister to suggest that our profession should lead out an abortion service without consultation with our member GPs is an affront to our profession and could pose yet another strain on the provision of general practice healthcare services.”
The NAGP said it strongly urges the Minister for Health to engage with it before progressing with the proposed legislation regarding abortion in Ireland.
The Association says it is the largest representative organisation for GPs in Ireland, representing 2,069 general practitioners.