Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1094)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1094. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the costs to nursing homes for general practitioners to call out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20012/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

GPs contracted by the HSE under the GMS scheme are obliged to provide services to their medical card and GP visit card patients, including those who are residents of nursing homes. Under the terms of the GMS contract, GPs are required to provide eligible patients with all proper and necessary treatment of a kind usually undertaken by a general practitioner and not requiring special skill or experience of a degree or kind which general practitioners cannot reasonably be expected to possess.

GPs are remunerated for these services primarily on a capitation basis, with a range of additional support payments and fees for specific items of service. Currently, an annual capitation payment of €434.15 is payable in respect of each GMS patient over 70 years of age residing in a private nursing home approved by the HSE for periods in excess of 5 weeks. This can include participants in the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS). Along with most other capitation rates, the nursing home rate will increase by approximately 48% over the next 4 years, under the recent agreement with the IMO on the reform and modernisation of the GMS contract.

If a person or nursing home is concerned that a GP is not providing the required care to a GMS patient as provided for in the GMS contract, they should contact their local HSE Primary Care Unit who will look into the matter.