Irish Medical Organisation

IMO Broadly Welcomes Competition Authority Report

Media Release - July 9th 2010

The Irish Medical Organisation today [9th July 2010] broadly welcomed the changes to improve GP Services for Patients outlined in the Competition Authority report.

IMO Vice President and GP Chairman, Dr. Ronan Boland said; “Following a consultation process with the IMO many of the changes and recommendations outlined have either commenced or are in progress.”

He said; “There is a shortage of trained General Practitioners in Ireland at present which will worsen in the short term at least. This shortage is reflected in most other EU states. The IMO has worked closely with the HSE and the Department of Health and Children over the two years to address these shortages through a variety of measures and to ensure that an adequate supply of General Practitioners is available in every geographical location, particularly in rural and deprived areas which may be less attractive areas in which to practice. We must also ensure that practices have sufficient resources to provide a fully staffed and equipped service from modern premises of the type patients have rightly come to expect.”

The IMO welcomes the report’s acknowledgement that “Competition needs to be implemented with care and that markets can produce great instability, variations in performance and inequalities which may be at odds with underlying principles of the health service, such as equity and comprehensive access to health care”.

In relation to payments to GPs under the GMS being unilaterally decided by the Minister for Health and Children, Dr. Boland said;

“This is no longer valid as the Government announced in the Public Service Agreement [Croke Park Deal] that further discussions will take place with the Irish Medical Organisation in relation to the Government’s commitment to make appropriate changes to Section 4 of the Competition Act 2002 to enable the representative body of GPs, the IMO, to represent its members in negotiations with the HSE and the Department of Health and Children in respect of the services provided to the public health service in a manner consistent with the public interest.”

For further information contact:
Maria Murphy
Director of Communications &
Public Affairs
Irish Medical Organisation
Tel. 01 6767 273

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