Irish Medical Organisation

IMO tells Minister there can be no extension of free GP care to under 12s until new GP Contract completed

IMO delegation meets Minister for Health

IMO tells Minister there can be no extension of free GP care to under 12s until new GP Contract completed

Friday 30th October 2015.  The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has told the Minister for Health and the Minister for Primary Care at a face-to-face meeting that they categorically rule out any extension of Free GP Care to children under 12 in advance of the introduction of a new GP Contract.   The Minister made a surprise announcement of his plans to extend free GP care on this basis from next year as part of the Government’s recent budget announcements.

At the meeting which took place on Thursday, the Chair of the IMO GP Committee, Dr Padraig McGarry, set out the IMO position.  He said; “there is no question of General Practice being in a position to cope with a cohort of additional patients until such time as a new contract dealing with the needs of existing patients is completed.”   Dr. McGarry said that the new contract must be for the existing cohort of patients and must address matters such as chronic disease management, rural supports, deprivation supports and additional services (eg: minor surgery). 

Dr McGarry said it was welcome that both Minister’s acknowledged the need for a new Contract and in particular the importance of Chronic Disease Management.  The IMO has long advocated for the inclusion of Chronic Disease Management in the new GP Contract, which, when appropriately  managed and resourced in general practice, delivers the State excellent value for money in terms of reducing pressures on secondary care and offers patients improved outcomes and better access to care.

The IMO delegation also repeated the IMO position that the extension of the GMS contract on the basis of age is not supported by medical evidence and will not meet the health needs of the Irish population. 

Negotiations on a new GP Contract between the IMO, Department of Health and the HSE will continue and all parties are committed to those negotiations and the conclusion of a comprehensive new GP Contract.  Dr McGarry said “These negotiations are critical to delivering an appropriate service to existing patients and to addressing the impact of the savage cuts which have seriously weakened the GP service.”

IMO Membership

Start reaping the benefits of membership.

If you were previously a member of the IMO you can rejoin here.

Join nowRejoin here ›


Have a question?
Please get in touch with us and we will be happy to answer.