GP contract Update
The IMO, Department of Health and HSE have been engaged in negotiations on a new GP Contract, under the Framework Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding, since February 2017. Negotiating meetings have taken place on a fortnightly basis, in addition to our negotiating schedule we have had regular clinical and technical sub group meetings with officials from the Department and HSE.
The IMO are strong advocates and negotiators on behalf of GPs and on the potential of General Practice to significantly transform the health service. The vision to move services from secondary to primary care is to be supported – but only when sufficient funding is in place. To do otherwise will truly see the demise of General Practice.
- General Practice is underfunded and has significant capacity and infrastructural issues
- FEMPI must be dealt with in line with agreement in Memorandum of Understanding
- New work and new contract obligations can only be introduced as resources are available
- Transfer of workload from secondary to primary care can only happen in a phased and planned way
- Enhanced care can and should be provided by GPs to those patients who need it. Universal GP Care is a laudable aspiration but we must deal with the current cohort of patients and first make the move from an acute care contract, which is the current GMS Contract, to a more comprehensive model of care for patients.
- General Practice must be a sustainable and viable career option for ALL GPs
The past months of negotiations have focused on what will be the first phase of a new contractual arrangement with GPs and the key areas where we have been engaging are:
- Process for restoration of FEMPI cuts under Memorandum of Understanding
- Chronic Disease Management
- Capacity Measures
- Special Items of Service
- E Health and support for IT in General Practice
- Medicine Management Initiatives with supports for GP infrastructure
Given that we are now at the stage where we are moving towards negotiating the details of resourcing under the Framework Agreement we await confirmation and clarification on funding from the Department and the HSE following the Government’s Budget on October 10th. We can only move on to further phases as agreement is reached and resources are in place for Phase 1.
We will continue to keep members informed and reiterate that the IMO position in this regard is clear, there can be no new initiatives without new and significant funding. We also wish to advise members that we are not in negotiations on the introduction of any new cohorts of patients into the GMS, while we note the Government intentions in regard to the expansion of GP Care the IMO position is that this is not a priority and is simply not possible in the current funding and capacity environment.