Following months of campaigning, the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) are pleased to see their proposal for a ‘Tallaght Strategy’ for health and 10-year consensus among stakeholders is now a part of the Programme for Government. The programme commits to developing a single long-term vision for healthcare over a 10-year period and to develop an agreed framework for an efficient and effective health service.

Dr. Emmet Kerin, NAGP President, welcomed the move saying, “The time has finally come for all stakeholders to work together on a 10-year plan to reform healthcare in this country. For too long, the healthcare has been piecemeal, influenced by an electoral cycle, with the result being an escalating crisis in all sectors of health”

“The NAGP is ready and determined to play its part in making GP-led primary care central to this process. I welcome the emphasis placed on primary care in the Programme for Government, however, the ongoing crisis in general practice must be addressed so GPs are able to play their part in the reform of healthcare. If adequately resourced, GP-led primary care will play a central role in alleviating hospital waiting lists and the inhumanity of patients on trolleys”.

We welcome the Government’s commitment to working with doctors’ representatives to negotiate an acceptable contract for GPs and we look forward to putting forward our members’ proposals. It is essential that GPs are provided with the necessary resources to support the management of chronic illnesses in the community as well as have proper access to diagnostics.

The NAGP welcomes the announcement of additional GP training places but emphasises that we must concentrate on retaining those that we are training.

Dr. Kerin said, “Unacceptable work arrangements, and a lack of clear vision for the future of general practice, has led to too many young, newly trained GPs leaving Ireland. We must break the cycle of training world class GPs for export”.