Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Ceisteanna (171)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

171. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health the status of negotiations on the new general practitioner contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24406/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I am happy 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 general practitioners, and make general practice a more attractive career option for doctors.

Agreement has been reached 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.

There will be increased support for GPs working in rural practices and for those in disadvantaged urban areas. Improvements in the maternity and paternity leave arrangements have also been agreed, in recognition of the need to ensure that general practice is compatible with doctors’ family friendly commitments.

The HSE circular to GPs setting out the terms of the agreement has issued to doctors with GMS contracts, inviting each of them to sign up to the agreed reforms. The increased capitation fees will only be payable to those GPs who sign up to the revised terms.I hope to see the majority of GPs signing up to the agreement and benefitting from significantly increased resources later this year.