Commenting after the Budget announcement, Dr Andy Jordan, Chairman of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) said, “We are outraged that a further €130m has been cut from the budget for patients with medical cards. This is the fifth cut to date that the Irish public has suffered to their system of General Practice since 2010 which will result in an overall reduction of €290m.

Furthermore, the Government has now set aside only €37m for the Under Fives GP scheme.” The NAGP calls upon Minister Reilly TD and Minister White TD to clarify their approach.”“It is obvious this paltry fund is to be resourced by savings made by increasing medical card prescription fees and withdrawing medical cards from over 70s.”
Dr Jordan went on to say that, “Initially on hearing the pre budget news of the Under Fives scheme, despite no GP/Doctor representative body being consulted, we backed the idea to champion the health of Irish children following on the footsteps of the Children’s Referendum. We clearly stressed that the scheme needed adequate resources and support. However, having been presented with the details this has not happened and it is a bitter pill to swallow for the citizens of Ireland.”
“General Practice is at breaking point. There are staggering misconceptions surrounding payments GPs receive for providing care; the Under Fives scheme will see GPs receive €100 per child per annum. This covers GP visits and home visits 24 hours a day; 7 days a week; 365 days a year for one single payment of €100 to the GP.”

“Without further resourcing the General Practice system is unmanageable and is past breaking point. General Practice is already facing longer waiting lists and the inability to carry out house calls, often to the weakest and most vulnerable in our society due to the cuts imposed before the budget.”
The NAGP calls upon Minister Reilly TD and Minister White TD to meet with us urgently in order to clarify their commitment to the provision of better health care for the people of Ireland.”

ENDS
Please note Dr Andy Jordan, Dr Don Punch, Dr Aifric Boylan, and Mr Chris Goodey are available for interview

For further information please contact:
Paul Allen:  087 257 5700 / 01 676 9575
Paul Allen & Associates,
4 Upper Mount Street,
Dublin 2