Doctors from all over the Northwest will meet tonight
in the Abbey Hotel in Donegal town tonight Monday (7th April) to protest at the lack of consultation on the new GP contract and to highlight the crisis taking place in general practice.
The meeting is the fifth in a series of meetings organised by general practitioners across the country to draw attention to the damage being done to patient care due to the lack of resources.
The GPs are also concerned about the new contract offered to GP’s to treat children under the age of six. The contract, they say, will create further problems in general practice and push GP’s into an even deeper crisis, create waiting lists for the first time in general practice, discriminate against older and disabled people, and put an unacceptable ‘gag’ on general practitioners.
Nine Oireachtas members have confirmed their attendance at the Donegal meeting including Pearse Doherty (SF), Padraig MacLochlainn (SF), Michael Colreavy (SF), Joe McHugh, (FG) and Charlie McConalogue (FF).
GPs are concerned that the cuts are having a negative impact on patients and that this issue is being ignored. They say that patients are at risk because of cuts and that general practice - one of the most effective arms of the health service - is in danger of being destroyed because of a lack of resources.
Following the media attention given to plans by the Minister for Health to introduce Universal Health Care (UHI) this week, GPs say that it is much more important at the moment to focus on the health service as it is now, and particularly, providing services to patients at primary care level and ensuring that they receive those services.