GPs accuse minister of 'reactive policy-making'

Saturday 10 May 2014 14.27
The main issue being discussed by the ICGP is the Government's handling of the discretionary medical card system
The main issue being discussed by the ICGP is the Government's handling of the discretionary medical card system

The Irish College of General Practitioners has accused Minister of Health James Reilly of "reactive policy-making".

As its Annual General Meeting in Galway today, the main issue being discussed is the Government's handling of the discretionary medical card system.

The College claims this exposes failings in the minister's proposed reform of the health system.

Incoming ICGP president Dr Tony Cox said the introduction of a third medical card is "reactive policy making" and would create a further administrative burden on general practitioners.

Citing multiple research reports Dr Cox stated that primary care is the least expensive and most efficient element of any health service when adequately funded and supported.

He said the Department of Health appeared to have a "blind spot" in relation to the efficacy of resourced and supported general practice.

The standards of ICGP should be considered when drafting the health reform agenda and should include the enhancement of integration services and the avoidance of a three tier medical card system, he said.

The ICGP also strongly recommended that reform be proportionate and based on medical need, not cost.