The National Association of General Practitioners has accused the government of being determined to suffocate and destroy General Practice through underfunding.

GPs belonging to the Association will protest tomorrow outside the Dáil over inadequate funding of GP services.

The NAGP criticised the government for failing to restore austerity cuts in General Practice at the same pace as other workers in the public sector which they say has resulted in an inefficient, unstructured health system which is now collapsing.

It says that approximately 3,000 GPs who treat public patients have seen a cut of 38% in support funding from the state which is used to help deliver services to patients. 

The Association points out that many GP practices can no longer take on new patients, as younger newly qualified GPs are emigrating, and older doctors are giving up and retiring early, some due to burnout.

NAGP Chairman Dr. Andrew Jordan said that of the 3000 GPs in public practice, only 90 are under 35 - while 700 are due to retire over the next 5 years.

He notes that the medical card system can no longer cope, due to being "starved of resources" for a decade.

The NAGP describes the Irish system as one of the most expensive yet inefficient in the world.

It accuses politicians of not listening to the GPs' difficulties, and calls for public representatives to be called to account for what it calls this "grave failure".

 The NAGP wants all cuts implemented under financial emergency legislation since 2010 to be restored at once "without preconditions".

It is also calling for a continued program of investment in General Practice and primary care over the next 10 years to enable essential reform and develop integrated care.

Yesterday the Irish Medical Organisation which also represents GPs, also voiced concern about underfunding, warning that it was prepared to walk away from talks with management if the resulting deal was not in the best interest of General Practice.

However, in an update to members, it warned against red lines such as full reversal of FEMPI without preconditions, describing that as rhetoric which will not deliver anything tangible.

The update states: "FEMPI will and must be reversed but it will come with some productivity measures our position is that such measures are not new clinical services to patients but will focus more on the reform of structures and the move to ehealth solutions on the administrative side".

The negotiators told members they were not prepared to sign up to a new contract that would be foisted on GPs already struggling with capacity issues, as that would ultimately lead to the further erosion of general practice with an immediate increase in obligations.

They warned members that general practice could not cope with unplanned capacity such as happened in the last budget with 100,000 new patients being entitled to receive Doctor Visit Cards.