Irish Medical Organisation

IMO GPs respond to Minister for Health on Today with Sean O’Rourke

“GPs are incredulous that Minister continues to talk about providing free GP Care without any engagement with GPs themselves”

Thursday 19th September 2013 The Chairman of the GP Committee of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has expressed incredulity at the continued talk of Free GP Care for Under 5s by the Minister for Health. The Minister spoke on the issue earlier today on the Today with Sean O’Rourke programme on RTE Radio. The Minister indicated that he was committed to proceeding with Free GP Care for Under 5s but acknowledged that the matter had not yet been decided upon formally by the Government.

Speaking today, Dr. Ray Walley, Chairman of the GP Committee of the IMO said that the Ministers’ approach to this issue was “appalling”. He said; “Over recent weeks Minister Reilly and Minister White have repeatedly raised hopes of a dramatic extension of free GP care for young people yet neither has made any attempt to engage with the GPs who they expect to provide this service. This suggests either an utter disregard for the people who will be responsible for delivering this service or an extremely cynical approach to politics and policy. It strikes us that the Minister is not serious about policy and not serious about this initiative.”

Dr. Ray Walley said that the extension of free GP care for any section of the population required careful planning and resourcing; “GPs would welcome a carefully planned and resourced extension of GP services to under-fives but they have to be resourced properly to be able to provide this service. So far there is no sign of any interest by the Government in even discussing the issues involved with GPs which suggests they have little expectation of actually implementing the initiative.”

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