To ask the Minister for Health in view of the precedent set by the agreement between the Irish Medical Organisation and Competition Authority the procedures, if any, that have been put in place for engagement with the National Association of General Practitioners by his Department; the rationale behind the procedures or lack thereof; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Billy Kelleher T.D.

As the Deputy will be aware, the then Minister of State for Primary Care, Alex White T.D., met with the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) on January 31s and  invited them to revert with any and all issues they may wish to raise concerning the draft contract published that day.

The NAGP did not make a submission to the HSE on the draft contract but instead wrote to the Minister of State on 20th February stating, inter alia, ” the NAGP does not propose to waste any further time considering this document and respectfully suggests that a full re-write is undertaken with the proper and meaningful negotiations with all key stakeholders.  Then, and only then, are we prepared to give your proposals further consideration”. In these circumstances, there is little point in a meeting with the NAGP at this time.

The Health (General Practitioner Service) Bill 2014, however, expressly allows the Minister for Health consult with representatives of GPs. The question of consultation with the NAGP can be considered in that context once the legislation is enacted and commenced.