In August 2018, my Department introduced a new claim form and medical certificate to replace the previous forms used for certification of the Department’s Illness and Injury Benefit schemes. The introduction of new forms is designed to improve the administration of the certification process and to make claim and payment procedures more efficient for everyone involved –patients, GPs, and the Department.
The Department has a contract with GPs on the DEASP panel in respect of medical certification for Illness and Injury Benefit and wrote to just under 3,500 contracting GPs, setting out the changes involved and will continue to communicate with all panel holders as the new process beds in.
In addition, the Department consulted with the Irish Medical Organization (IMO) - a longstanding representative body with a broad range of GPs in its membership. The Department will continue to consult with the IMO under our Framework Agreement on a range of issues, including e-certification, closed certification and changes to forms.
The IMO is the representative GP body which is affiliated with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and has been for many years. The Department will continue to hold substantive discussions with the IMO as it is the body that is recognised as holding the representative rights for GPs.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.