09 October 2018
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Extending the GP Visit card is socially progressive, but will put further pressure on waiting times for GP services, says ICGP

The Irish College of General Practitioners, the professional and training body for general practice in Ireland, welcomes the extension of the free GP Visit card in today's Budget announcement, but warns that extending free GP visits will further increase demand on GPs

Practices and extend waiting times, without properly-resourced chronic illness management.

"Already we have up to half of all practices saying they cannot take on any new patients because of the shortage of GPs," said Dr John O'Brien, President of the ICGP. " We know that the extension of the free GP Visit card will help more families see a GP, but it will lead to an increased demand, and longer waiting times for patients."

"We need to double the existing health spend of 2 - 3% on General Practice in the health budget to properly resource the development of community-based chronic illness management."

"We need more doctors, we need to retain doctors and we need more nurses and a better IT infrastructure, with more streamlined services," Dr O'Brien added.

In its pre-Budget submission (available here https://bit.ly/2NcftOO) the ICGP called for:

  • Increased capacity in general practice and primary care
  • Reverse cutbacks to GMS income
  • Properly-resourced community-based chronic illness management
  • Resourcing more training places, alongside retention measures.
  • New GP contract.


MEDIA QUERIES: Aileen O'Meara, Communications Consultant, ICGP

Email: media@icgp.ie. Tel 087 2239830

Twitter: @ICGPnews

WEBSITE: www.icgp.ie

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