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ICGP says it was not consulted over UHI

06 Dec 2013

By Catherine Reilly.

There has been “no engagement or consultation” with the ICGP about the manner in which Universal Health Insurance (UHI) will work, the ICGP Chairperson told the College’s Winter Meeting on November 23.

In her update to members, Dr Mary Sheehan referred to the College’s “difficult decision” to withdraw its involvement in the Clinical Care Programmes due to the “lack of any indication of how these programmes could be resourced”.

The meeting in Athlone, which was organised by the College’s Network of Establishing GPs (NEGs), was held under the theme ‘Future-Proofing Irish General Practice’ and saw some 180 GP delegates in attendance.

Dr Sheehan told them that successive governments and Ministers for Health had recognised the key role of general practice in the health system, most recently in the Department of Heath’s Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012-2015.

“However, despite this acknowledgement, new measures in the move to UHI, such as free GP care for children aged five years old and under, continue to be announced without any consultation with general practitioners,” she said. “Disappointingly, there has been no engagement or consultation with general practitioners of how this might work.”

GPs were also seeing evidence of “the hardship created by the removal of existing medical cards on a daily basis”, she added.

In her concluding remarks, Dr Sheehan expressed concern about the number of recent graduates emigrating rather than establishing in general practice in Ireland.

6 December 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times