At the launch of the first ever consensus document
– “Primary Care: A Framework for the Future” – a partnership of Primary Care providers have called for a new Cabinet Minister for Primary Care.
The consensus document, which outlines a series of solutions to Ireland’s numerous health challenges, was launched today by the Primary Care Partnership at a function in Dublin, attended by Oireachtas members and healthcare professionals.
Dr. Ronan Fawsitt, a member of the Primary Care Partnership Executive, called for the new position to be created by the next Government. He said, “A GP-led primary care system is the best way to resolve issues with the current health system. The solutions outlined in the Consensus Document will not only improve services for patients, but will also reduce costs in other areas of health. A Minister for Primary Care is crucial to ensure the effective long term planning and delivery of a better primary care system for all stakeholders”.
The Primary Care Partnership brought together key leaders in areas such as General Practice, nursing, medical training and education, rehabilitation services, nutrition and patient care and pharmaceuticals to produce a series of potential solutions which should be put in place in order to tackle Ireland’s health problems.
The document addresses a number of significant areas, including; How Primary care can better function through improved access to services; Data protection and technology; Access to rural medical services; General Practice, Emergency Departments and; Managing the patient overload.
It was today presented to the government, HSE and other key stakeholders.
The event was chaired by Dr. Andy Jordan, Chairman of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP), and included presentations from Dr. Ronan Fawsitt, General Practitioner and Professor Garry Courtney, Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist, St. Luke’s Hospital Kilkenny.
Chairman of the Primary Care Partnership, Mr. Chris Goodey urged the government to take seriously the ideas proposed in the document and to ensure a recruitment drive for GPs takes place. “This document presents an opportunity for all healthcare professionals to work together towards a primary care service that both patients and healthcare professionals deserve. For the first time ever, primary care providers have come together to give the government a series of solutions to fix our health service. We now have an opportunity to put in place some tangible change which can make a real difference to everyone involved – patients, providers and regulators. As part of this, the Government must undertake a recruitment drive for GPs and ensure that positions are attractive to both recent graduates and experienced GPs.”
“On behalf of the members of the Primary Care Partnership I would like to call on all stakeholders to come together to use this to engage in confronting the challenges facing the Irish health system,” he said.
Earlier this year, hundreds of community-based health and social care professionals, along with key national and international opinion leaders, came together at the inaugural Primary Care Partnership conference in Maynooth, Co. Kildare to prepare a plan to meet some of the many challenges facing the Irish health system.
The conference was divided into eight plenary sessions, where global leaders in health were invited to share their experiences and ideas. Nine workshops then took place where those ideas were refined into action plans, with each session facilitated by a team of expert writers and health professionals. Together they produced a framework document and strategy on which all participants agreed.
Participants in the conference – comprising allied healthcare professionals –examined a range of issues in primary care, and put forward solutions to nine topics:
1. Improved access to support services for primary care teams;
2. Improving primary care access for home / residential care;
3. Prevention is the Cure / Healthy Ireland;
4. Integrating primary care: data protection, patients and technology;
5. Prioritisation of patients / managing the overload;
6. General practice / ambulatory care / emergency department;
7. Improving patient care in rural Ireland;
8. Improving patient care in urban deprived environments;
9. Primary care – a vision for the future.
Following the plenary sessions, a number of workshops took place which presented an opportunity for delegates to engage with the many ideas presented and ultimately laid the foundation stone for this framework document and strategy.
Read the document in full here