I propose to take Questions Nos. 134 and 135 together.
I am pleased that we have been able to conclude an agreement with the IMO on a major package of GP contractual reforms which will benefit patients and make general practice a more attractive career option for doctors.
My Department, the HSE and the IMO have agreed a set of measures on the provision of new services, including a structured chronic disease programme, commencing in 2020, which will benefit over 430,000 medical card and GP visit card patients. A wide-ranging set of modernisation measures has also been agreed in the areas of eHealth, medicines management and multidisciplinary working.
In return for cooperation with these service developments and reforms, the Government will increase investment in general practice by approximately 40% (or €210 million) over the next 4 years. This will see significant increases in capitation fees for GPs who participate in the reform programme and the introduction of new fees and subsidies for additional services such as the chronic disease programme.
The estimated full year cost of implementing the reform and modernisation measures in 2019 is €27 million. An additional €38 million will be provided to meet the full year cost in 2020. In addition, €15 million will be provided in 2020 for the first phase of the roll out of the chronic disease programme.