Irish Medical Organisation

IMO responds to new Programme for Government

Programme for Government represents a missed opportunity to tackle health funding

Guarded welcome for some initiatives but criticism for delaying tactics and absence of resource commitments and lack of vision

Concern that aspirations are not real commitments

Friday 6th May 2016.  The Irish Medical Organisation has issued a guarded welcome for some initiatives expressed in the Government’s Programme for Government on Health matters but have expressed disappointment with the lack of an overall vision and a clear model and commitment to funding.

Speaking today Dr. John Duddy, IMO President said that the IMO did acknowledge there are positive aspects of the programme which reflect some IMO policy but given the lack of detail on resources it is difficult to see how these will be delivered.  Dr Duddy said “The IMO is committed to the concept of universal healthcare, to the resourcing of General Practice and the delivery of Chronic Disease in General Practice, to keeping doctors in Ireland and providing a consultant delivered service but this programme, while heavy on aspirations is very light in terms of concrete plans and a real vision for our public health services.”

Dr. John Duddy said that the IMO concerns were focused on: 

  • Adoption of failed policies which will further increase inequality in the health services with the investment in National Treatment Purchase Fund and delay in addressing bed capacity
  • No ring fenced funding for health investment and service development but an underlying movement towards privatisation of our public services
  • The absence of resources to support a significant investment in GP services.
  • No significant measures to ensure we have sufficient doctors to deliver the services

Dr. Duddy said that the IMO was fully committed to working with the new Government to deliver a better public health service.  He said; “we are committed to improving the public health services.  In particularly we want to work with the new Government to stop the brain drain of Irish trained doctors.  We welcome the commitment that new contracts are needed and that more needs to be done.  However, if anything is to be achieved in the lifetime of this Government we must see action now so that we can move to: 

  • A consultant delivered hospital service to patients 
  • A system that encourages our younger doctors to see the Irish public health services as a place to develop, train and work
  • A community health services that is led by GPs to deliver enhanced services to patients
  • A public health service that is valued, resourced and delivers appropriate, timely care to patients on the basis of medical need not ability to pay

Dr. Duddy has called for a meeting between the IMO and the new Minister for Health to discuss priorities for the coming months.

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