The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) has welcomed Minister Harris’s comments, regarding the imminent roll back of FEMPI (Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) cuts to General Practice.
General Practice has suffered disproportionate funding cuts of 38% under FEMPI. The cuts to General Practice are in relation to the gross funding provided by the state to deliver medical services to patients under the General Medical Service (GMS) scheme.
The number of people covered by Medical Cards and GP visit cards has almost doubled since 2008.
Chris Goodey NAGP, CEO said “FEMPI cuts have destroyed General Practice, particularly in remote rural and urban deprived areas. It is not possible to take €2 Billion out of general practice without having a devastating effect on the entire Health Service. We know that for every €1 spent in Primary Care, there is a saving €5 in the rest of the Health Service.”
Originally the Minister had stated that FEMPI reversal would commence in 2019 linked to better efficiencies and increased workload. As a consequence of intense campaigning by the NAGP and the other GP representative bodies the Minister has now agreed to commence negotiations regarding FEMPI reversal immediately.
Critically this will include participation by the Department of Health (DoH) the HSE and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER).
Dr Andy Jordan, NAGP Chairman said, “We are delighted the Minister has agreed to commence the process immediately. This could be a turning point for General Practice and patient care in the community”
The NAGP recently balloted its members. 74% indicated that the priority of any negotiation with the government should focus on the reversal of FEMPI.
Chris Goodey added “We look forward to engaging over the next few weeks with the Minister for Health on this reversal process”.