GP bodies can express views on fees for care for children under 6, says Minister

IMO to argue Government proposals would add significantly to GPs’ workload

GPs are not employees of the health service but 
rather
are contractors. The position of the Department of Health for several years has been that under competition legislation it could not negotiate with representative bodies in relation to fees.
This position is disputed by the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO).

GPs are not employees of the health service but rather are contractors. The position of the Department of Health for several years has been that under competition legislation it could not negotiate with representative bodies in relation to fees. This position is disputed by the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO).

Sat, Feb 1, 2014, 01:11


There will be an opportunity for organisations representing GPs to have an input into

a fee structure to apply for the provision of free medical care to children under the age of six, Minister of State for Health Alex White has said.

However, he said the setting of fees to apply under the Government’s plans for the provision of free GP care for children under six was a matter for the Minister for Health.

Mr White said his understanding of competition law was that GP representative bodies could not negotiate a rate and could not engage in traditional industrial relations horse-trading about what fees they would accept.

GPs are not employees of the health service but are contractors. The position of the Department of Health for several years has been that under competition legislation it could not negotiate with representative bodies in relation to fees.

This position is disputed by the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO).

Mr White yesterday held talks with the IMO, the Irish College of General Practitioners and the National Association of General Practitioners, and presented them with a draft contract for the provision of free GP care for children under six.

Draft contract
Sources said the preliminary view of the IMO would be that the draft contract would involve significant additional clinical and administrative work for GPs, and that much more resources would be required for general practice.

At the meeting the IMO maintained it had grave concerns in respect of Government proposals to give GP-visit cards to children under age six, and this move was not underpinned by any medical evidence. The IMO is understood to have argued that there were vulnerable patient cohorts who, on both medical and income grounds, were in greater need of such medical support from GPs.