Officials in the Department of Health are in consultations with the HSE about drawing up a new GP contract, according to Minister of State Alex White. The Minister pointed out that the Programme for Government provided for the introduction of a new GMS GP contract with an increased emphasis on the management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular conditions.

Focus on prevention

He said it was envisaged that the new contract, when finalised, would focus on prevention and would include a requirement for GPs to provide care as part of integrated multidisciplinary primary care teams.
Minister White was responding to a written Dail question by Kildare South Labour Deputy Jack Wall on the position regarding payments for medical services.

Further discussions to take place

In his response (dated March 23, 2013), which was reported in last week’s Irish Medical Times, the Minister said he had recently had discussions with the IMO during which he outlined the Government’s policy in relation to free GP care and he intended to engage in further discussions with the IMO once that legislation was published.

“The appropriate arrangements in relation to phlebotomy services and anti-coagulation therapy will be considered as part of the new GMS contract,” he stated in his reply.

Chris Goodey, CEO of the NAGP said any new GP contract should be developed and negotiated with all key stakeholders. “Organisations who represent general practice, including the IMO, NAGP and ICGP, clearly understand the fundamentals of health delivery in a primary care setting and it is vital that the Department of Health would engage with these organisations from the outset.”