Minister for Health James Reilly. Brian Lawless/PA

Free under 6s GP care dubbed 'trojan horse' to change doctor conditions

The IMO said a new draft contract for the initiative would mean a significantly increased workload for doctors and would require additional resources.

THE IRISH MEDICAL ORGANISATION has accused the government of using the extension of GP cards to children under the age of six to push through radical reform.

Following an initial review of the draft contract proposed by the government in relation to the initiative, the organisation said it has “serious concerns”.

Ahead of the publication of the contract, government officials met with GP representatives but the IMO accused the government of pushing “spin over substances” afterwards.

Today, Dr Ray Walley, Chairman of the GP Committee of the IMO claimed the initiative was a “trojan horse” aimed at reforming the terms and conditions of doctors dealing with public patients without any negotiation.

Speaking today, Walley suggested that the proposals will:

  • Significantly increase clinical workload;
  • Increase the number and complexity of consultations;
  • Seriously undermine the clinical independence of General Practitioners;
  • Require additional resources in infrastructure, staffing levels (both medical and administrative);
  • Impose a range of new responsibilities on GPs.

Over the coming weeks the IMO will provide an analysis of the proposals to members so they can assess the impact it will have on them.

“The manner in which the government is seeking to impose these significant changes is neither acceptable nor practical and there are serious issues about the sustainability of the current model of General Practice which is the cornerstone of our health services,” Walley said. “We can and want to do more but only with planning and adequate resources. We call upon government to immediately commence real negotiations.”

Read: IMO accuses Government of pushing ‘spin over substance’ after meeting>

Read: Reilly: Everyone will have free GP care by 2016, IMO: There’s no hope of that>

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