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Sláintecare statistics called into question

Chairperson of the union’s GP Committee Dr Padraig McGarry raised the issue with GP Dr Michael Harty TD, one of the authors of the Sláintecare Report.

“Some questions have been asked in relation to the gathering of statistics,” said Dr McGarry during a well-attended debate on the Sláintecare Report on the Thursday evening of the AGM.

“We know the accuracy of statistics for the production of this report is absolutely essential.”

In his response, Dr Harty admitted that there may be some problems with the statistics used regarding GP visitations.

“There is a controversy over the visitation rates in relation to general practice,” said Dr Harty.

“I have spoken to the Trinity [College] group [who worked on the report] who are willing to look at those figures. I know [Dr] William Behan has very strong views on visitation rates [figures]. I would think his figures are more accurate than those used in the [Sláintecare] Report. But those were the figures that we took from the Trinity group.”

Dr William Behan is a GP who has queried the Sláintecare Report statistics regarding general practice on his Twitter account (@DrWilliamBehan) and elsewhere.

“I think if Sláintecare is to be introduced, if there is to be an expansion of primary care, if there is to be an expansion of entitlements, those figures will have to be looked at closely,” added Dr Harty.

“I think it is in that context that they can be negotiated and reviewed.”

In response, Dr McGarry said there was “a slight urgency here” because negotiations over a new GP contract are taking place.

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