Only half of general practitioners have signed up to government under-sixes scheme

GP association requesting emergency meeting between all stakeholders

‘Grave concerns regarding the chaos that will erupt after July 1st if under 6s scheme proceeds as currently proposed’

‘Patient safety will be put at risk’

‘There has never been a more divisive issue in general practice’

Sligo News File Online

NAGPA general practitioner body has warned of risk to patient safety if the Government free GP care for under 6s proceeds as proposed.

To date, only just over 50% of GPs have signed up to scheme.

The National Association of General Practitioners, which is requesting an emergency meeting between all stakeholders,
has highlighted “grave concerns regarding the chaos that will erupt after 1st July” if the scheme is progressed in its current form.

“Patient safety will be put at risk, waiting lists are inevitable and general practice will become like an emergency department’
says the association.”

Association CEO, Chris Goodey said the body is concerned at the level of division which the under 6s contract has created among GPs,  and believes “it is essential that all representative organisations come together to ensure the future of general practice in this country.”

He said, “there has never been a more divisive issue in general practice.The fear and uncertainty that GPs have regarding this contract has been used to pit one against the other, and as representative bodies, we must not let this division continue.

“GPs are receiving conflicting information from several different sources and are being told that their practice will lose income if another GP in their area signs or that the entire speciality will be
sacrificing future investment if the under-6s scheme is not accepted. This has placed huge pressure on GPs and has caused individuals to become isolated from their colleagues. This is a situation which will only weaken general practice into the future.”

Mr. Goodey said Government policy “coupled with this draconian contract does nothing to address the targeted destruction of rural general practice or any of the other major issues that are
destroying community medicine.

“Ultimately, the NAGP, the ICGP and the IMO all want the same thing – appropriate investment and resources for general practice and the ability to provide a safe, effective primary care health service for patients. The best chance we have of attaining that goal is to work together constructively in the interest of all our members and more importantly the patients.”