Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (866, 867, 868, 869)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Ceist:

866. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) cannot access a family general practitioner in their locality [26743/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Violet-Anne Wynne

Ceist:

867. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) cannot access a family general practitioner in their locality [26744/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Violet-Anne Wynne

Ceist:

868. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) cannot access a family general practitioner in their locality [26745/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Violet-Anne Wynne

Ceist:

869. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Health the way in which he plans to address the shortage of general practitioner places in Killimer, County Clare (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26746/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 866 to 869, inclusive, together.

Where a GMS patient experiences difficulty in finding a GP to accept him/her as a patient, the HSE has the power to assign that person to a GP's GMS patient list where the person has unsuccessfully applied to at least three GPs in the area who hold GMS contracts.

People who do not hold a medical card or GP visit card access GP services on a private basis and can make enquiries directly to any GP practice they wish to register with. 

As private contractors, it is a matter for each individual GP to decide whether to accept additional private patients.  In some instances, GP practices have a full list of patients and cannot take on new patients.  If this happens, patients should contact other GP practices in their area. While I have no role in relation to such matters, I would expect clinicians to consider the importance of patients having access to a GP service close to home when deciding whether or not to accept private patients. 

The Government is aware of the workforce issues currently facing general practice, including the increased demand for GP services, and is committed to the continued development of GP capacity to ensure that patients across the country have access to GP services. A range of measures have been implemented in recent years to improve recruitment and retention in general practice, including the recent GP Agreement which will increase Government investment in general practice by approximately 40% (or €210 million) over a 4 year period, and the ongoing expansion in the number of training places on GP training programmes. These new measures will help make general practice a more attractive career option for doctors and will increase the number of GPs across the country, to the benefit of both GPs and patients.