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IMO wants "real negotiations" on free GP care

Doctors held a ‘mass briefing’ for parliamentarians throughout today.

Chair IMO GP Committee Dr Ray Walley
Chair IMO GP Committee Dr Ray Walley
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

DOCTORS FROM THE IMO say they welcome free GP care for the under-sixes – but reiterated today their opposition to the draft contract for them.

As part of their campaign to make government aware of their issues with the draft contract, members of the IMO national GP committee briefed 105 TDs and Senators from all parties on the issue today.

The draft contract had been put together by the Minister for Primary Care, Alex White TD, and governs the provision of free GP visits for children under the age of six.

Mass briefing

The IMO organised a mass briefing for all parliamentarians which took place through the day.

Its key messages were:

  • The IMO supports GP care which is free at the point of access for all patients “but this can only be delivered with proper planning, adequate resources and real negotiations”
  • The IMO is a trade union with a negotiating licence and entitled to fully represent GPs in negotiations
  • The draft contract proposed by Government is unworkable in its entirety, it is bad news for patients, bad news for clinical independence and patient safety and bad news for the future of General Practice.

Dr Ray Walley, chairman of the GP committee of the IMO, said that many of the TDs and Senators met by the IMO “recognised the pressures facing General Practice and were prepared to listen to the many problems for both patients and GPs around the Government proposals on a draft contract”.

“Now we must see the Government act and commence real negotiations with the IMO,” he said.

Walley said that he thinks there is “disappointment and surprise” at the fact Government hasn’t negotiated on this contract with the IMO.

Yesterday, Minister White said that he was going to respond to the IMO’s correspondence about the process of engagement with them.

In total, 300 submissions were made to the Department of Health on the draft contract, and all are being examined by the HSE at the moment.

Read: GPs invited to meet Dept of Health on free care for under-sixes>

Read: IMO could threaten legal action over contract on free GP care>

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