The National Association of General Practitioners has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Health, Simon Harris, that he has ring-fenced funding for a new GP contract in Budget 2017. At a press conference this evening, Minister Harris, stated that he will begin negotiations with GP representative bodies by the end of the year.

Dr. Andrew Jordan, NAGP Chairman, speaking after the press conference said, “GP-led Primary Care was central to the agreed programme for Government to address the challenges in the health care system. Minister Harris has made a positive start to his term in office by confirming that he will include all GPs in the negotiation of a new GMS contract. We welcome his commitment to begin talks by the end of this year with all parties”.

Dr. Jordan concluded, “We regret, however, that many GPs who are currently under resourced will have nothing to provide interim relief”.

The NAGP also recognises the extension of medical card coverage to all children in receipt of the domiciliary care allowance as a positive step. The NAGP lobbied extensively for this measure and welcomes its inclusion in Budget 2017.