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NAGP gets FF backing for change

27 Jun 2014

Billy Kelleher, Fianna Fáil TD

The NAGP says it has received assurances from a number of opposition parties and independent TDs that they will support the Association’s aim to amend current competition law, which expressly forbids any kind of collective bargaining between GPs and the State.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has indicated that his party will fully commit to amending current competition legislation with regard to collective bargaining, should his party form a Government after the next election.

Deputy Kelleher made the commitment following his party colleague’s attempts to amend the Competition and Consumer Protection Bill 2014. Despite the initial rejection of Deputy Dara Calleary’s amendments, it is expected the Mayo TD will propose further amendments in the coming week.

According to Chris Goodey, NAGP CEO, the FF deputies’ actions reflect the growing realisation among politicians that in order for general practice to thrive, GPs must have an input into how services are run. “Amending our broken competition legislation has been a long-term objective of the NAGP and something we have been engaging directly with all politicians across the country over the past 12 months.”

Commenting on his commitment, Deputy Kelleher said: “Over the course of the past year or so I’ve been overwhelmed by the escalating crisis in general practice. I witnessed first hand, in my own constituency and at recent NAGP meetings in Cork and Dublin, the devastating impact that recent FEMPI cuts have made — on the profession and on patients.”

Despite a pledge in the Croke Park agreement to make “appropriate changes to the Competition Act and a transformation agenda for GPs”, this commitment has not been honoured.

27 June 2014

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