IMO to permit GP contract facilitating free healthcare for under-sixes

The agreement reached between the Department of Health and the Irish Medical Organisation clears the way for the drawing up of a new GP contract for family doctors, to include the Government’s plans for free care for under-sixes.However, there was no indication last night when talks might begin or even whether they would take place at all. The issue is likely to be discussed at today’s meeting of the Cabinet subcommittee on health, which is also expected to discuss proposals to take the heat out of the medical card controversy.

Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White yesterday welcomed the agreement with the IMO which sets out a process for engagement on publicly funded contracts involving GPs. After months of stalemate, the IMO agreed last month to enter “talks about talks” with the Department of Health. These resulted in yesterday’s agreement.

This deal is separate from the settlement of litigation between the IMO and the Competition Authority, which was announced yesterday, though this agreement also helps clear the way for substantive discussions to begin again between the IMO and the department……

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