Irish Medical Organisation

IMO responds to speculation re end of Government commitment to Universal GP Care.

Monday 23rd July 2018. The Chairman of the GP Committee of the IMO, Dr. Padraig McGarry has responded to reports today that the Government will not proceed with plans to introduce Universal GP care.  The report is based on a Department of Health memo prepared for Cabinet last week.

Speaking today Dr. McGarry said; “The IMO has warned for many years and it has been stated IMO policy that the introduction of age based universal care is not justified on healthcare grounds and was not practical in the current environment. The Government has created a crisis in General Practice by the scandalous FEMPI cuts and by the failure to adequately resource GP services. With almost 700 GPs preparing to retire in the coming years and with patients already finding it impossible to register with overworked GPs the Government needs to urgently address this crisis and set out a coherent, costed plan to save General Practice before it’s too late.”

Dr. McGarry continued “What we urgently need now is the unwinding of cuts imposed on GPs under FEMPI and a new contract to underpin GP services. No further effort should be made to roll out new services until a new contract for existing patients is in place.”

“We should then follow that up by a measured programme of initiatives to roll out additional GP services which are based on medical need.”

“General Practice has been one of the outstanding strengths of the Irish healthcare service. However it is now in peril and the Government must move quickly and urgently if it is to be protected.”

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