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The integrated care roles are in the areas of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
The leads include: Dr Diarmuid Quinlan (diabetes), Dr Joe Gallagher (cardiovascular disease), Dr Dermot Nolan (asthma) and Dr Mark O’Kelly (COPD). Each role will last for two years.
Dr Nuala O’Connor, ICGP GP lead, HSE Antimicrobial and Infection Control Team (AMR-IC), also attended the meeting.
Chronic disease management is a major part of GP workload and the team are aiming to improve standards of care and services for patients.
They will work to deliver increased capacity for the delivery of community based care to patients with complex comorbidities.
Dr Quinlan told the Medical Independent (MI) he is delighted to take up the position and thanked the HSE and ICGP for delivering the roles.
Commenting on his main objectives in the role, Dr Quinlan said he aims to increase the number of visits provided by the State for public type 2 diabetes patients from two to three.
The Model of Integrated Care for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes, approved in March, recommends patient with type 2 diabetes visit their GP three times per annum, but the third visit is as yet unfunded, it is understood.
Dr Quinlan is also hoping to end the inequity of care where private type 2 diabetes patients have to pay for their GP care but do not have to pay for care in hospital, where type 2 diabetes care is more costly, he said.
As reported by the paper late last year, following renewed discussions between the HSE and ICGP agreement was reached between both organisations on developing the new posts.
Some 14 GP leads withdrew their involvement in the clinical care programmes in 2013 due to increased GP workload without transfer of resources and a lack of investment in primary care.
In a letter to then Minister for Health James Reilly explaining the decision, the College argued there had “no tangible attempt to redirect resources to the primary care sector”.