Doctors reiterate opposition to proposed new GP contract

GPs claim new contract would create more problems in general practice and push doctors into a further crisis

Family doctors from across the West met in Galway last night

as part of a continuing campaign to oppose the proposed new GP contract.

The large turnout also included TDs and Senators who were told the new contract – which aims to provide free care for children under six – would create more problems in general practice and push GPs into a further crisis.

The Galway meeting is the third of a series of countrywide gatherings by the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) aimed at extending the campaign of opposition to the new contract.

Contract flawed


The association has described the draft contract

as so morally, economically and practically flawed it merits no further consideration.

The association said it wished to engage in serious discussions with Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White and the Department of Health on a substantially revised and evidence-based contract that would motivate GPs.

It said it could not engage in a process where the discussion about funding ended with the Minister being the one to decide and set the fee.

The draft contract for GPs treating children under six was presented at the end of January to the NAGP, the Irish Medical Organisation and the Irish College of General Practitioners, at separate meetings with Mr White and his officials.

The IMO has described the contract as a "Trojan horse" for its assault on the terms and conditions of doctors in general practice. It said the proposed contract would result in a significantly increased clinical workload, would increase the complexity of consultations and would require extra resources in staffing and infrastructure.

'Effective reform'

The ICGP has called on the Government to withdraw the draft contract and

begin a partnership between GPs and the Government on delivering “true and effective reform”.

Galway GP Dr Dan Murphy, who chaired last night's meeting, said general practice in Ireland was now in crisis.

“It is obvious the real story of the crisis in general practice is being whitewashed by the party establishments, but TDs and Senators attending our meetings are beginning to understand what is really happening.

“We are all in this together, and if the Department of Health want solutions, they need to talk to the people who actually implement and deliver quality service to their patients every day,” he added.