The NAGP welcome the announcement yesterday that the Living Out Allowance for NCHDs will be restored from July 2017. The GP body has commended the IMO on securing this vital support for junior doctors. The NAGP has said that the restoration of FEMPI cuts to General Practice must now be considered to ensure the future viability of the profession.

Dr. Maitiu O’Tuathail, NAGP GP Trainee Representative, said, “The reinstatement of the Living Out Allowance will make an immeasurable difference to General practice trainees, a significant proportion of whom are heavily indebted following graduate entry to medicine. The restoration of this allowance is a positive step forward in reversing cuts imposed on frontline medical staff”.

Dr. O’Tuathail continued, “The agreement to put a system in place to examine educational support for trainees is something the NAGP very much welcome and believe is vital to the retention of General Practice trainees in Ireland. There is a significant financial burden for General Practice trainees in attaining postgraduate qualifications and attending courses. They undertake additional training with the view to improving patient care and delivery and a recognition of this is a welcome development”.

The NAGP believe that it is vitally important that the Government support both GPs and GP Trainees in continued and further education. The Department of Health’s intention to make a decisive shift to Primary Care requires an equal shift of ring-fenced resources for continued training and education of GPs.

Dr. O’Tuathail said, “Reversal of the FEMPI cuts imposed on General Practice must be considered to ensure that GP trainees, like myself, can afford to practice medicine in this country. Half of all our GP trainees are emigrating each year to work in other health care systems where working hours and pay are more attractive. We must entice our highly skilled GPs back to Ireland and retain our graduates. The solution is an adequately resourced Primary Care system along with a new, fit-for-purpose, GP contract”.