Under the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the IMO, the Department of Health and the HSE the IMO has ensured that “In line with plans by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to open talks with public sector unions on an orderly unwinding of the financial emergency measures legislation, a similar process will be put in place involving the DoH/HSE and IMO in relation to the application of the FEMPI legislation to GPs since 2009”.
The IMO has already been very clear with the Minister and the HSE that the impact of FEMPI on the infrastructure and viability of general practice has been hugely negative and must be dealt with. GPs simply cannot continue to prop up what is purported to be a State service.
Faced with increasing pressure as a result of the IMO campaign on Rural General Practice local politicians are making promises to rural communities and GPs that distance coding will be restored. I would urge all GPs to treat such promises with caution. The discussions on FEMPI which are due to take place before the end of year, have not yet commenced. Promises are only that. What we are demanding are actual agreements that clearly outline how FEMPI is to be restored to General Practice and in what timeframe. The IMO are wholly opposed to any suggestion that FEMPI restoration will be linked to the provision of additional services or new work. FEMPI was a cut on existing services and must be restored for existing services. To suggest or propose otherwise is simply ludicrous and will do nothing to help ease the significant pressures we as GPs are facing. This is particularly important in the absence of a properly resourced new GP Contract which should resource a full range of services for the delivery of care in general practice.
The IMO are committed to fighting for the restoration of FEMPI and we will keep you fully informed as to any developments in this regard.