The National Association of General Practitioners has said it hopes to have a rescue package in place within two weeks in bid to ensure the continuation of the organisation amid concerns about corporate governance.
Yesterday, the President of the NAGP Maitiu O’Tuathail and the entire National Council stepped down en masse citing issues relating to internal governance.
NAGP Chairman Andrew Jordan told RTÉ News the Association will reveal its next move on Thursday, but has not ruled out postponement of its Annual General Meeting due to take place next month.
The NAGP was set up in 2013 amid significant cuts in GP fees during the austerity crisis, and claims to represent around 2,000 doctors in general practice.
However, it has never been involved in public service negotiations on pay, where the Irish Medical Organisation represents doctors.
At last year's AGM governance concerns were raised, leading to the commissioning of a governance report from consultancy firm Ampersand, which was due to be discussed at this year's annual conference next month.
However, it emerged yesterday that NAGP President Maitiu O’Tuathail and the entire National Council had resigned amid concerns about corporate governance.
In the National Council's resignation letter to members, it said the Ampersand review had recommended a new governance structure for the organisation, and they had "begun that journey".
However, the Council went on to state: "Subsequently, serious issues of internal governance were brought to the attention of the National Council and the Directors of the NAGP."
It said that while significant efforts were made to resolve these issues through a process of renewal, transparency and accountability, this was not achieved.
This morning, NAGP Chairman Dr Andrew Jordan defended the organisation's record in representing the interests of GPs.
He confirmed that the organisation had always had financial difficulties, and that subscription income from members has fallen.
In a subsequent statement, the NAGP said many GPs were waiting to see the details of the new contract offer before they renew their membership subscription, and that this has created financial difficulties for the association.
It continues: "The Directors will strive to ensure that a rescue package will be in place within the next two weeks which will facilitate the continuation of the organisation and implement the recently commissioned Ampersand governance report."
It states that the directors remain "at the helm", to fulfil the NAGP's responsibility to its members to address ongoing industrial relations issues.
It said it had become evident over the past year that the government would never allow the NAGP to sit at the negotiating table, and that the IMO and the Department of Health enjoy a "unique" relationship.