4 Nov 2018

GPs vindicated by O’Brien comments about FEMPI

The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) has responded positively to comments made in today’s Sunday Business Post by former HSE Director General Tony O’Brien about the reversal of FEMPI (Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest).

The interview in the Post said of O’Brien: “He is also concerned about general practice, saying the government needs to ‘make peace with General Practice’ and ‘treat them fairly’ on the reversal of cuts that were levied during the recession under Fempi (Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act).”

CEO of the NAGP Chris Goodey reacted saying: “The FEMPI cuts have effectively halved the funding available per patient in General Practice over the past ten years. The cuts have reduced the capacity of family doctors to provide a safe service for patients, and they cause thousands of patients every week to attend emergency departments unnecessarily. We agree that the government needs to make peace with General Practice, but the Minister for Health must match his words with actions. The health service cannot function properly until General Practice is fixed.”

Tony O’Brien also said “General Practice needs a much stronger voice”. He urged the NAGP and the Irish Medical Organisation to “find a way to settle whatever issues divide them in order to create that stronger voice”.

Chris Goodey said: “Certainly, General Practice needs a strong unified voice. However, we have asked repeatedly for engagement on a new GP contract with the Department of Health and the HSE, alongside the IMO. So far this hasn’t happened. Minister Harris should use his executive powers to make this happen. He should take ownership of the process and drive it.”

/Ends

 

Notes for editors:

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