Irish Medical Organisation

IMO Statement- GPs not to blame for Emergency Department Crisis

• GPs not to blame for Emergency Department Crisis
• General Practice cannot become the dumping ground for ED problems

Wednesday 17th December 2014. Dr. Ray Walley, Chairman of the GP Committee of the IMO, has warned IMO is extremely concerned at suggestions that more patients should be diverted to General Practice to deal with the crisis in Beaumont.

Dr. Walley said that GPs in the community cannot be expected to resolve the crisis in the Emergency Department at Beaumont Hospital.

Speaking today, Dr. Walley said “While GPs provide exceptional care in the community, their surgeries are not equivalent to Emergency Departments and no attempt should be made to make that the case. Patients in acute need of a full range of diagnostic tools and treatment services must have access to emergency departments to ensure their care and safety”.

He said; “The ED crisis in Beaumont and other hospitals has been brought about by:
• Reduction in number of acute hospital beds within the system leading to overcrowding of hospitals
• Failure by Government and HSE to recruit and retain appropriately trained doctors and nurses in this essential service
• Chronic lack of appropriate facilities for patients, particularly older patients, who require either rehabilitative or extended long term care.”

Dr. Walley said; “The IMO rejects any suggestion that General Practice should be used as a fall back for ED services. General Practice is a vital part of our health system and should be resourced to deal with the already overwhelming demands being put on it by increased workload and reduced funding.”

In response to the current ED crisis the IMO fully supports Beaumont Hospital’s call for the HSE to start allocating resources out of the €27 million allocation as per the 2015 HSE service plan as a matter of urgency.


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