The National Association of General Practitioners has described the draft contract for family doctors to treat children under six years as morally, economically and practically flawed such that it merits no further consideration.

The association said it wished to engage in serious discussions with Minister for Primary Care Alex White and the Department of Health on a substantially revised and evidence-based contract that motivates GPs.

The NAGP said that it cannot engage in a process where the discussion about funding simply ends with the minister being the one to decide and set the fee.

A draft contract for GPs treating children under six was presented last Friday to the NAGP, the Irish Medical Organisation and the Irish College of General Practitioners, at separate meetings with Mr White and his officials.

At the weekend, the IMO described the contract as a "trojan horse" for an assault on the terms and conditions of all doctors in general practice.

It said the proposed contract would result in a significantly increased clinical workload, would increase the complexity of consultations and would require extra resources in staffing and infrastructure.

The unions said the contract would impose a range of new responsibilities on GPs and seriously undermine the clinical independence of GPs.

The IMO is to consult its members over the coming weeks on the issue.