Irish Medical Organisation

IMO GPs warn that the Government is attempting to fundamentally alter General Practice system without negotiation

Extension of GP cards to children under-6s is a “trojan horse” for an assault on terms and conditions of all doctors in General Practice

1.45pm Saturday 1st February 2014. Following a preliminary review of the Draft Contract proposed by Government in relation to the extension of Doctor Only Visit Cards to Under 6s the IMO has serious concerns on a number of fronts.

Dr. Ray Walley, Chairman of the GP Committee of the IMO said that the Government was using the extension of GP cards to children under the age of six as a “trojan horse’ to push through a radical reform of the terms and conditions of doctors dealing with public patients without any negotiation.

Dr. Walley said:

It is apparent, even from a preliminary review, that these proposals will:
- Significantly increase clinical workload
- Increase the number and complexity of consultations
- Seriously undermine the clinical independence of General Practitioners
- Require additional resources in infrastructure, staffing levels (both medical and administrative)
- Impose a range of new responsibilities on GPs

The Irish Medical Organisation which is the trade union holding a negotiating licence to represent GPs remain firm that these proposals require real and meaningful negotiations as happens with all other sectors dealing with Government, not so-called consultations.

Over the coming weeks the IMO intends to engage extensively with members and will be providing a detailed analysis of the proposals so as to enable GPs to assess the impact on their own practices and make informed decisions. Such analysis will examine each and every aspect of the contract changes in terms of workload, resource requirement, cost of provision and additional duties.

“The manner in which the Government is seeking to impose these significant changes is neither acceptable nor practical and there are serious issues about the sustainability of the current model of General Practice which is the cornerstone of our health services. We can and want to do more but only with planning and adequate resources. We call upon Government to immediately commence real negotiations.”

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