‘Rushed’ introduction of abortion services is unsafe and unacceptable say GPs

National Association of GPs says it will not be threatened or intimidated by Minister

NAGP president Dr Maitiu O’Tuathail said comments requesting everyone to put their shoulder to the wheel were insulting and very disappointing for frontline staff.

NAGP president Dr Maitiu O’Tuathail said comments requesting everyone to put their shoulder to the wheel were insulting and very disappointing for frontline staff.

 

Family doctors believe the “rushed manner” in which abortion services are being introduced by the Government is “unacceptable and unsafe”, the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) has said.

It said it objected to pressure being placed on frontline staff “to get some sort of service in place by January, purely to protect the Minister for Health’s political reputation”.

NAGP president Dr Maitiu O’ Tuathail said GPs would “not be threatened or intimidated by Minister Harris”.

He said comments made by the Minster were “antagonising and unhelpful in the extreme”.

The Irish Times reported on Monday that the Minister had urged doctors “to put their shoulder to the wheel and assist the HSE in providing this much needed service”.

The Minister said “we need clinical leadership to prevail”.

Dr O’ Tuathail said comments requesting everyone to put their shoulder to the wheel were insulting and very disappointing for frontline staff.

“The NAGP believes these comments reflect a disconnect with regard to what is happening on the frontline in healthcare here”.

Dr O’ Tuathail said that proper preparation, both clinical and Medical Council guidelines and clear support services were essential, before such services come into effect.

“The system must also be underpinned by law, which has yet to be passed and a realistic commencement date set.”

“Staff on the frontline have had both shoulders to the wheel for many years now”, Dr O’ Tuathail said.

He said the NAGP believed the Minister had “chosen to ignore the clinical leaders who will be directly involved in the provision of abortion services, the Masters of maternity hospitals, both the colleges of General Practitioners and Obstetricians and GPs working on the frontline”.

“This is neither prudent, nor safe.”

Dr O’ Tuathail said: “What we are hearing is it’ll be grand, it’ll be better than nothing, it won’t be perfect.”