The Deputy will be aware that talks are ongoing with GP representatives on the development of modernised GP contractual arrangements. The focus of the current phase of the talks is on developing a range of modernisation, reform and sustainability measures and the development of a chronic disease management programme.
This will enable GPs to better meet the needs of patients and will also promote general practice as a viable and rewarding career for both existing doctors and future medical graduates.
Talks between the State and the IMO resumed in October 2018 and there has been intensive engagement over recent weeks. While some progress is being made, there are a number of outstanding issues that need to be progressed before any agreement can be secured. The State’s negotiating team is keen to bring matters to a conclusion; however, any agreement must substantially benefit patients and provide value for money for the taxpayer.
Agreement on the delivery of service improvements and contractual reform would facilitate a very significant increase in the resourcing of general practice on a multi-annual basis.
In line with the long-established approach to such processes, and by agreement of the parties concerned, I am not in position to give further details while engagement between the parties is under way.