Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (533)

Billy Kelleher


533. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health his plans to consult with the Irish Medical Organisation on the reform of primary care and when will meetings take place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11274/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

A key commitment in the Programme for Government and a fundamental element in the health reform process involves significant strengthening of primary care services to achieve Universal Primary Care (UPC) with the removal of cost as a barrier to access for patients. In order to deliver on this commitment, the preparation of a new General Medical Services (GMS) contract with GPs will be required. The Department and the HSE are currently examining the changes that need to be made to the GMS contract to facilitate the introduction of Universal Primary Care. I have recently had discussions with the IMO during which I outlined the Government’s policy in relation to free GP care. I intend to engage in further discussions with the IMO once the legislation regarding the extension of free GP care is published.