20 November 2018

GPs say provision of abortion services in Ireland to fall short of what the women of Ireland deserve.

The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) says that the provision of abortion services in Ireland will fall far short of what Irish women deserve.

President of the NAGP Dr. Maitiu O Tuathail said: “Many questions remain as to how GPs will be expected to provide a safe abortion service for the women of Ireland. We need clarity with respect to the availability of ultrasonography to date pregnancies. The provision of emergency aftercare does not seem to have been addressed. Issues around the medico-legal indemnity for GPs who opt to provide this service must also be clarified.”

The fee structure agreed for the termination of pregnancies would see GPs being paid €450 for three visits. Currently, General Practitioners (GPs) get paid €250 to provide antenatal care for a woman for the duration of her pregnancy. This could encompass up to 12 visits to her GP.

“This neither makes sense, nor can reasonably be justified,” said Dr. O Tuathail. “It highlights the chronic underfunding of antenatal care in Ireland, and the urgent need to review the fee structures under which GPs work, in the form of a new contract.

“We find it incredibly disappointing that the agreement for the termination of pregnancy services excludes universal access to long acting reversible contraceptives. The government will provide universal access to the termination of pregnancy, but not equal access towards preventing a pregnancy in the first place. This is simply bad medicine,” said Dr. O Tuathail.

“The NAGP calls for a comprehensive women’s health service, to include long acting reversible contraceptive and termination services. They should have access to assisted reproductive technologies, such as IVF, where required.

“The women of Ireland are entitled to a holistic, comprehensive women’s health service. This is not what this delivers. It is bad medicine,” said Dr. O Tuathail.

/Ends

Notes for editors:

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