IMO ready for negotiations on the extension of GP visit cards to children under the age of six.
Thursday 30th January 2014. The Irish Medical Organisation is to meet with the Minister with Responsibility for Primary Care, Alex White TD tomorrow Friday 31st January in relation to Government Plans on Universal Health and in particular GP Care for Under 6s.
Speaking today Dr Ray Walley, the Chairman of the GP Committee, said; "The IMO is the only Trade Union holding a negotiating licence on behalf of GPs which allows us to negotiate on their behalf. So we are ready and willing to finally begin the process of negotiating on the introduction of what is without doubt a profound change in health policy. Any change to contractual terms and conditions must be fully negotiated as happens in all other sectors, as to do otherwise is to impose contract by diktat.”
He continued; "Our view remains that the Government has given insufficient thought and planning to make this change as envisaged and we are very sceptical of the feasibility of doing what they have set out to do. Unlike patients suffering from long term illness who are currently being deprived of a medical card, there is no medical evidence underpinning the decision to extend GP Visit Cards to all children under the age of six irrespective of the means of their families and we will make this point to the Minister tomorrow. However, GPs are to be the providers of the service and as their Trade Union, a party to all GP Contracts and holder of a negotiating licence, we are ready to negotiate the contractual issues around this move with the Minister."