Health department says GP contract will change

By Martin Wall

The Department of Health has said there would undoubtedly be changes to the controversial contract which it has proposed for general practitioners (GPs) to provide free medical care for children under six. The department said yesterday it intended to meet the Irish College of General Practitioners, the Irish Medical Organisation and the National Association of General Practitioners in the coming weeks for “detailed discussions on the scope and content of the draft contract”.

“This will afford them the fullest opportunity to raise any and all issues which they may have regarding the draft contract and, indeed, to make their own proposals as as to how it may be improved.”
Today is the deadline set by the Government for receipt of submissions on the contract.

The National Association of General Practitioners has described the contract as “offensive” and demonstrating “little understanding” of the work that GPs do. The remarks were made by the group’s chief executive, Chris Goodey, in a letter to Minister of State for Health, Alex White.

“Since publication we have only been able to find one single GP in the entire country who is prepared to even consider your plans,” added Mr Goodey.