GPs say it is too early to discuss fees for abortion services

The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) says that news that GPs are to receive fees of between €400 and €450 for the provision of abortion services is unhelpful.

The NAGP was reacting to news in today’s Irish Times that “broad agreement had been reached” between the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) and the Department of Health and HSE following discussions centred around a fee structure for women seeking terminations.

Chief Executive of the NAGP Chris Goodey said: “Talking about fees is inappropriate at this time. There are still a number of questions that should be resolved, such as issues to do with confidentiality, ultrasound and the training of staff.

“What about the availability of counselling for patients? It is more important that discussions around safe and effective provision of services, rather than fees, are put in place at this time.

“It is unacceptable that the NAGP, the largest representative body for GPs, has not been included in any discussions with regard to the safe effective provision of termination of pregnancy services.

“GPs should be fully trained and supported to provide a termination of pregnancy service of the highest and safest standards (including access to ultrasound, counselling, and blood testing for rhesus factor when indicated).

“It is imperative that engagement occurs with GPs to find workable solutions to all concerns raised to date. This isn’t possible if their main representative organisation is excluded from talks.

“We must strive for a compassionate, supportive and respectful service that accommodates the needs and beliefs of all stakeholders. This is achievable, and it takes precedent over GP fees.”

/Ends

Notes for editors:

For further information, please contact: Gerry Mullins, Head of Communications at the NAGP – Tel. 0863080781 / gmullins@nagp.ie