IMO responds to Taoiseach’s commitment on Free GP Visit Cards for over 70s
Wednesday 9th July 2014. The GP Committee of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has said that Government policy in relation to GP Services is in complete disarray and there is now an urgent need to tackle the crisis facing GPs who are trying to cope with increasing workloads and decreasing resources.
The Committee was responding to the announcement by the Taoiseach today that the Government plans to give free GP Visit Cards to all adults over the age of 70.
Speaking today, Dr. Ray Walley, Chairman of the GP Committee of the IMO, said; “The reality is that GPs are overstretched and under-resourced and priority must be given to providing services to those most in need. There are many aspects of today’s announcement that are of concern – not least the casual way in which it has been announced. We are particularly concerned that the Government is using Free GP Visit Cards as an alternative to medical cards when the two are not comparable. It is of little help to an elderly patient to have his GP visit paid for but no support for all the additional services available under medical cards including medication, non medical support services and community services.”
Dr. Walley said that the IMO would seek an urgent meeting with the Minister for Health – whoever it might be – to try to get them to clarify just what are the priorities of the Government in relation to General Practice and what additional resources are planned to deliver such services.”