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Unions warn free GP Visit Cards for carers cannot proceed without negotiations and resources

The IMO has advised the Department of Health that this measure will require negotiation and adequate resources for general practice in order for these patients to be cared for appropriately. 

Dr. Padraig McGarry, Chairman of the GP Committee of the IMO said that the Government was using GP services as a token “give away” to demonstrate good intentions rather than a potentially transformative part of the health services infrastructure; “GP services are in crisis and it is going to be very challenging to deliver a meaningful service to what are a deserving group of patients and we must be sure that whatever is promised to these patients is capable of being delivered.   In light of the current underinvestment and capacity problems in General Practice the Government still chooses to increase demand for services through meaningless inadequately funded initiatives such as this rather than deal with the growing crisis in GP services.” 

Also, the NAGP stated the Minister’s announcement demonstrates a complete disconnect and lack of engagementwith general practitioners and the deepening crisis in the sector.

“This comes at a time when general practice is already overwhelmed and under resourced. General practitioners areleaving the profession in large numbers, young GPs, in particular, are leaving Ireland insearch of jobs that present a real work-life balance, something that is simply not realistic inIreland in the current system. Without adequate resourcing this will add to the pressures of asystem that is currently bursting at the seams and result in more GPs leaving and increasedpatient safety risk,” accoridng to the Association.

“The NAGP now calls on Minister Harris to proactively move forward in GMS contractnegotiations in a manner that suggests that he and the Department of Health are serious about providing properly resourced primary care services to the Irish people.”

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