TROLLEY CRISIS CANNOT BE SOLVED WITHOUT PROPER RESOURCING FOR COMMUNITY-BASED CARE.
NEW GP CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS A WASTE OF TIME WITHOUT COMMITMENT TO MORE RESOURCES
The Irish College of General Practitioners, the professional body for general practice in Ireland, has expressed its concern at the latest crisis in the country's emergency departments in hospitals around the country.
The College strongly believes that this crisis is a perennial but predictable one, which is due to a confluence of several complex problems, including massive and historic underfunding of general practice and social care, the removal of public hospital beds, and the massive underfunding of general practice.
The Chair of Communications at the ICGP, Dr. Mark Murphy, said:
"The Irish healthcare system remains in a perennial, but predictable, crisis, reflected by over 600 persons waiting on trollies daily. These vulnerable patients, admitted to hospital with severe medical and surgical complaints, are forced to reside in dehumanising and unsafe conditions, due to a shortfall in the capacity of public hospital beds. We must expect more from our healthcare services. The Irish citizen pays as much or more than in other systems internationally where better care is provided for the same spend. The trolley crisis is a confluence of several complex healthcare problems, chiefly exacerbated by massive and historic underfunding of general practice and social care, together with the removal of public hospital beds from the system over the past decade."
He added: "There is the massive underfunding of Irish general practice and social care- Ireland spends 3.2% of its public health budget on GP- the UK spends over 8% and will increase this to 11%."
The ICGP reiterated that the current crisis reflects the ongoing impact of the FEMPI cuts on general practices around the country, which has led to a serious manpower shortage and pressure on existing family doctors.
"Politicians have ignored the voices of doctors for too long. Now, more than ever, we need to address the primary problems causing this healthcare problem. We will need an effective primary care system, and better use of public hospital beds, so patients do not always have to enter the hospital through one door- the Emergency Department. We need a modern, well-funded GP Contract to ensure patients can have access to evidence-based and cost-effective policy for community care. We also need to urgently reverse the tide of emigration, low morale and uncertainty amongst new and established doctors", said Dr Murphy.
The ICGP is concerned that negotiations for a new GP contract will commence this month, without the provision for increased funding for patients seeking care in communities, in 2017. ICGP is willing to play its part for a new GP Contract, but only if the necessary funding is present- that is how we can put patients first.
Aileen O'Meara, ICGP Communications Advisor
087 2239830 firstname.lastname@example.org @ICGPnews