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Whistleblowers 'gagged' under new GP contract, claims IMO

The Irish Medical Organisation said that the Minister for Health is being hypocritical by saying he is in favour of whistleblowers.

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File
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A NEW CONTRACT for GPs contains a clause that will ‘gag’ whistleblowers, the Irish Medical Organisation has said.

Today, the IMO has accused the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly of hypocrisy by claiming he is in favour of whistleblowers.

They said that at the same time he is trying impose a new contract on GPs which includes a ‘gagging clause’.

The organisation claims the clause “will prevent GP whistleblowers from drawing attention to HSE mistakes – even where there is a threat to patient safety”.

Contradiction

Chairman of the GP Committee of the IMO, Dr Ray Walley, said that the contract directly contradicts Minister Reilly’s pro-whistleblower statements that he made on RTÉ radio show Morning Ireland today.

According to the IMO, the draft contract includes the following provision:

28.4.4: The Service Provider (GP) shall not do anything to prejudice the name or reputation of the HSE.

Walley described this as “little more than a gagging clause which would prevent a GP from highlighting cases of wrong doing and effectively stops GPs advocating for their patients”.

Dr Walley said that the situation “raises serious concerns about how much – if any – involvement the Minister for Health has had in relation to this proposed contract which is an attempt to fundamentally alter the relationship between GPs and the HSE”.

He said the above clause is one of a number of “major flaws” in the proposed new GP contract, and that the IMO believes it “will not deliver an equitable or sustainable service to patients”.

The IMO wants urgent and comprehensive negotiations on the Minister’s plans for the revised GP contract for all patients.

Read: It’s not only nurses that have emigrated to find work. Guess how many GPs have?>

Read: Tánaiste: Shatter should ‘clear up’ claims whistleblowers did not cooperate>

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