GPs query the allocation of the health budgetSaturday 20 July 2013 22.12
The National Association of General Practitioners has claimed that Government health funding is not a problem, but how the money is spent is.
At a meeting in Portlaoise, the NAGP chief executive Chris Goodey said the walls were caving in on family doctors.
He said that up to 8% of general practitioners practice may close due to cuts in Government payments.
The EGM heard that €160m has been taken out of primary care by the Minister for Health James Reilly.
Mr Goodey warned that GPs are under intense financial pressure and will not be able to maintain current levels of service.
The meeting heard calls for money to be re-allocated to primary care, given that 92% of clinical cases are seen by GPs.
A spokesperson for the Minister for Health James Reilly said there was a major commitment to primary care.
A memo is due to be brought to Cabinet shortly on accelerating free GP care.
Meanwhile, the former special adviser to former minister of health Mary Harney, Oliver O'Connor, told the meeting he believed it would be 2021 before Universal Health Insurance is in place.
He said it would take two terms of Government because it was so complex.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health has said that the programme for Government promises to introduce UHI by 2016.
The spokesman also said that all legislative and organisational changes for Universal Health Insurance will be in place during this Government term.
The commitment is that UHI will then be phased in during the second term.