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Salaried GPs must be part of our future health service – O’Reilly

19 May, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking in light of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) annual conference this weekend, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has outlined Sinn Féin’s position that salaried GPs must form part of the solution to the crisis in GP recruitment and training.  The introduction of salaried GPs will bring much needed certainty and remove barriers and difficulties. 

Deputy O’Reilly said: 

“Doubtless. there are many challenges facing GPs in light of the crisis in our health service. However, one of the most persistent concerns for GPs are the myriad of challenges that come with running what is effectively a small business. 

“The NAGP outlined that this year, for the first time, ten GP training places have remained unfilled. Such a state of affairs highlights the nature of this particular aspect within the broader health crisis.

“GPs work incredibly hard in what is a very demanding job and in more recent years the difficulties and insecurities that come with running a GP practice, particularly in rural Ireland, has meant that attracting doctors has become more complex. Such issues have meant that some areas throughout the country have struggled with no GP because of the risk of taking over or establishing a practice in certain areas.

“Sinn Féin believes the best way to address this, for both GPs and patients, is to make the post of GP more attractive, offering salaried positions with scope for research, links with Emergency Departments, and access to diagnostic tests. We believe that salaried GP posts would ultimately prove to be more attractive. Salaried posts would allow GPs to focus on their clinical role, remove the challenges of running what is effectively a small business, and ease the difficulty of getting locums, something that is deterring GPs at present from pursuing the profession. 

“There is no doubt that something needs to be done to stem the further escalation of this crisis. Sinn Féin are confident that salaried GPs paid by the state and given the necessary support and funding is the best way to ensure that everyone has access to a GP and that those GPs feel confident, secure, and happy in their role.” 

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