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IMO shut out of planning for GP care for children

22 Aug 2013

Dr Ray Walley

By Dara Gantly & Gary Culliton.

The Government’s mooted move to introduce free GP care for under-fives is “another example of Government talking but not doing”, the IMO has said, adding that it was “extraordinary” that the union had not been consulted over the plans.

The Minister for Health Dr James Reilly, announcing the initiative at last month’s MacGill Summer School in Donegal, said: “I do not want any parent to be in a position where they have to decide between buying the groceries and bringing their child to the doctor. This would be another important step along the road to Universal Health Insurance,” he said. The IMO expressed serious concerns at media reports on what would be a “major change in the way GP services operate”.

Dr Ray Walley, Chairman of the IMO GP Committee, said it was “extraordinary” that there has been no communication from the Government on the proposal. “There are no proposals in relation to resourcing this service — this seems like another political statement with no rationale behind it. The Government seems to want credit for introducing this service without even discussing the matter with the very people who have to provide it.”

In a wide-ranging speech, Dr Reilly also announced the formation of a special advisory group on patient safety, whose membership will be composed of leading experts from both Ireland and abroad, and touched on the importance of creating a single-tier health system, ”liberty, equality and fraternity” to become the new pillars of reform in the health service, and on his determination to change the role of NCHDs.

22 August 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times