Irish Medical Organisation

IMO calls on Government to take immediate action on foot of acknowledged crisis with Medical Cards

Friday 16th May 2014. The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) welcomes the fact that Government Ministers have finally acknowledged the harassment being suffered by patients as a direct result of a cull on medical cards and now calls on the Government to take immediate action to cease this practice.

Dr. Walley said “Two years ago the IMO began a campaign to highlight how the HSE was withdrawing medical cards from vulnerable patients and despite the attempts of the HSE and Government to dismiss such claims, even the Government now accepts that what is happening is wrong with the Tanaiste admitting that the current review process amounts to harassment.”

“The current practice of simply removing medical cards must stop and a new equitable system for review be put in place. GPs all over the country are now reporting to us on a daily basis the unnecessary suffering of vulnerable patients and this makes the policy of delivering free GP care to under 6s all the more astonishing. As a society we should, in terms of health care spend, prioritise those most vulnerable based on income and medical need, anything else is simply inequitable.”

The IMO has been invited to attend a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health on 27th May next to present on our Campaign to Resource General Practice and help us help more patients. Dr. Walley said that “GPs need a new GP Contract that is properly resourced that will enable them to do more for patients in the GP setting – this is better for patients and value for money for the taxpayer”.

Dr. Walley also confirmed that the IMO had met this week with the Department of Health to continue the process of “talks about talks” in relation to Government proposals for a new GMS Contract. Dr. Walley said that while the talks which have taken place were “useful”, they did not amount to negotiations.

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