North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has said the Government’s new agreement with the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) on a major package of GP contractual reforms will benefit Cork patients and make general practice a more attractive career option for doctors.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “This agreement is good news for the people of Cork and the GPs working here. This agreement will encourage more doctors to go into General Practice and will provide new funding to develop practices and the services they provide.
“In return, GPs will agree to work on much-needed reforms including more cost-effective prescribing of medicines, waiting list validation and use of new information and communications technology systems. This agreement will lead to the structured care on a large scale of patients with chronic conditions in a primary care setting”.
Cllr. O’Shea added “It is heartening this agreement will see GPs engaging strongly with the eHealth agenda which will ensure that patient are placed at the centre of the healthcare delivery system and become empowered participants in the provision and pursuit of their health and wellbeing”.
Speaking at the launch An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said: “The Minister for Health and I are also signalling our intention to extend the free GP care scheme for children which currently applies to children aged five and under, to all children aged 6-12.
“Alongside the new staff nurses contract agreed with unions earlier this week and the reduction in prescription charges and the widening of income limits for the GP Visit Card, I believe this represents a major step forward in the implementation of Sláintecare, increased resourcing of primary care, transferring chronic disease management from hospitals to the community, and widening the provision of free and subsidised healthcare.”
Minister for Health Simon Harris said “This agreement shows that Government is delivering on the Sláintecare programme – the agreement of a revised GP contract will enable the delivery of integrated, community-based care that is provided at the right time, in the right place.
Minister Harris added “I appreciate that GPs have been under pressure in recent years to maintain services in the face of increasing demand and stretched resources. The funding stream that will flow in return for the changes we are announcing today will put general practice on a much more sustainable footing and help to make it an attractive and exciting career choice for doctors.”