The National Association of General Practitioners has welcomed calls from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health for equality between the NAGP and the IMO in the GP contract negotiations. The Committee on Health passed a motion to write to Minister Simon Harris asking him to ensure that the NAGP and the IMO have equal status and parity of input and output in the contract negotiation process.
The NAGP made a presentation to the Committee on Health today (Thursday) on GP manpower and capacity issues in a fully functioning Primary Care system. The importance of negotiations on a new GP contract was raised by Deputy Billy Kelleher and Deputy Alan Kelly who sought clarity on the roles of the two unions in the process.
Dr. Emmet Kerin, NAGP President, said, “It is critical that all GPs are equally represented in the contract negotiations. Parity of process is essential to ensure all GPs have their voice heard and to secure their support for the new contract. Excluding them would only serve to delay this process and therefore delay urgently-needed reform of our health care system. To quote Deputy Alan Kelly, any other scenario is “bananas”. It was acknowledged by the committee members that inequality in the process and the inevitable delay in outcome would ultimately do a disservice to the citizens of Ireland”.
A vigorous debate on the manpower and capacity issues which exist in General Practice took place at the committee meeting. The NAGP presented a number of solutions to deliver a decisive shift to GP-led Primary Care and address the capacity crisis in General Practice.
Dr. Liam Glynn, NAGP Chair of Communications, said, “We need a new GP contract which is fit for purpose and which will attract our young, highly trained, GPs back to Ireland. This is critical if we are to facilitate the shift to GP-led Primary Care that is central to the future of healthcare”.
Dr. Glynn’s final call to all parties present at the Committee was, “Let’s all get in the same room and get this thing done. Patients deserve nothing less”