GP Crisis - Statement by Irish Medical Organisation
- IMO invites Minister Alex White to attend a National meeting of GPs at the forthcoming IMO Annual Conference
- IMO rejects Government's grounds for not negotiating fees and strongly condemns the proposal that fees can be varied by the Minister at any time.
Wednesday 9th April 2014. The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has today written to Minster Alex White TD calling on him to begin comprehensive negotiations on all the issues that arise on a new GMS Contract. The IMO has also invited the Minister to attend an emergency national meeting of GPs which has been called as part of the forthcoming IMO AGM at the end of this month.
In the letter, the IMO rejects the basis for the Minster's refusal so far to negotiate on fees and reminds the Minster that the IMO has negotiated with the State for many years on fees and all other aspects of GP services which has resulted in value for money for the State and better services for patients.
In the letter today, the IMO also recalls the view on this issue of former Attorney General, Paul Gallagher SC (Jan 2012) where he stated that "The Competition Authority's position is wrong as a matter of law and that this stance has created significant uncertainty."
Dr. Walley, Chairman of the IMO GP Committee, says there can be no negotiations with the Minister unless the issue of fees is included; "the IMO is the Trade Union for doctors, has a negotiating licence and is entitled to fully represent GPs. It is inconceivable that on this crucial issue the Minister is not only ruling out negotiations on fees but stating that any fees determined by the Minister can be varied at any time by the Minister. It is the very cuts determined by Government under FEMPI which has led to the current crisis in General Practice yet the Government wants to continue down this path. How can we plan a service on this basis? "
Dr. Walley said it was now clear that the proposal to introduce Free GP Visit Cards for children was unachievable in its present format; "It is crystal clear now that the Governments plans in this area are in disarray. The only question is when will the Government recognise that their plans are going nowhere unless they sit down with us and negotiate what is a very significant policy change."