Change in criteria for RPA
Change in criteria for RPA
The IMO National GP Committee have commenced discussions with the HSE and Department of Health on the crisis that is Rural General Practice. In this regard the GP Committee are working with members of the Rural GP Community to develop priorities and solutions that deal with some of the more immediate issues and aim to produce a longer term viable solution for rural practice. These discussions are taking place in the context of negotiations of a new GP Contract and a review of FEMPI under the Framework Agreement.
In terms of the Rural Practice Allowance there are many GPs practising in rural areas who have been refused this allowance, although it was held by the previous incumbent. The IMO have been fighting individual cases in relation to this over recent years and have been successful in many cases but the application of the criteria by the HSE has made the situation very difficult.
The HSE have now advised that they are introducing an interim measure which will widen the criteria with regard to the RPA, details of which can be found here, This measure is only in place pending the completion of substantive talks with the IMO on the wider issues affecting rural general practice and the supports required. Within the new HSE criteria there is a new provision which allows for a partial RPA where a GP is outside of the Rural Practice Allowance criteria. This partial RPA will entitle the GP to full allowances, subsidies and medical indemnity refund regardless of panel size. It will also attract a payment of €8,108 per annum. The difference between the partial RPA and the full RPA is that the full RPA attracts a payment of €16,216 as well as entitling the GP to full allowances, subsidies and medical indemnity refund regardless of panel size.
The position of the IMO is that while this interim measure will assist in restoring allowances to which GPs are entitled it will NOT address the fundamental problems facing rural general practice and the devastating effects of FEMPI.
Our objective is to pursue real and sustainable solutions for Rural GPs in order that the service, so valued by patients, can continue and develop. This cannot be achieved in isolation of discussions on a new GP Contract or a review of FEMPI.
We have a list of those IMO GPs who have contacted us with regard to Rural Practice Allowance applications and these GPs will be contacted by the HSE shortly to review their situation having regard to the new interim criteria. Any IMO member who has not contacted us in this regard but feel that they may be entitled to the RPA or a partial RPA under the new criteria should contact the IMO Contract Helpdesk on 01 6767273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.