• NAGP call for unconditional reversal of FEMPI cuts to general practice
  • GP union say FEMPI has destroyed the viability of general practice
  • GPs say the service is stretched beyond capacity
  • NAGP will hold emergency council meeting this Saturday  

The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) has called on the Government to unconditionally reverse Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) cuts in general practice. The GP union was responding to the Minister for Health’s announcement yesterday (Tuesday) that “in future, the relevant Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, will have the statutory power to set and vary the fees paid to (health care) contractors”. The NAGP say that a Minister having unilateral power to set rates in this manner would be disastrous for the future of general practice and patient care.

The NAGP council will now hold an emergency meeting this Saturday, 11th November, to discuss the implications of the cabinet proposal and our next steps, as a union.

Mr Chris Goodey, NAGP Chief Executive, said, “Any reversal of FEMPI cuts to general practice funding should be unconditional in line with other sectors. The reality is that the money belongs to the patient for the delivery of general practice services. GPs provide an excellent service with 90% approval ratings from patients however, cuts to resourcing in the last ten years have severely impacted the standards that can be achieved”.

The GP body say GPs have suffered funding cuts of up to 38% under FEMPI while their workload has increased. Patients with medical and GP Visit cards have increased to almost half the population with the introduction of the under 6’s and over 70’s free GP care.

The GP union said the Government must now decide whether they want a severely disadvantaged service or if they wish to resource a decisive shift to GP-led primary care that is resourced to keep patients out of hospitals and provide more care in the community.

Mr Goodey concluded, “Cuts to resourcing have brought general practice to the brink of collapse. GPs are forced to reduce consultation times and patients are waiting longer to see a doctor. The Government must take on board recommendations made in the all-party Slaintecare report and resource general practice”.