Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Stephen Donnelly TD has today called on Minister Simon Harris to outline a clear pathway to achieve the full reversal of FEMPI cuts to general practice.

Deputy Donnelly commented, “It is vital that the Government provides a clear pathway to achieve the full reversal of FEMPI cuts for GPs, with that process to begin immediately.

“A new GP contract could take several years to negotiate. It is not appropriate that the reversal of these cuts is used as leverage. FEMPI is already being reversed across the public sector, and indeed in the public health service. GPs are being left out in the cold in this process.

“The strain under which GPs are currently operating means that this cannot wait. GP services across the country have now reached a tipping point. 36% of GPs are aged over 55 years according to the Irish College of General Practitioners. By the HSE’s own estimate, Ireland is facing a shortage of between 493 and 1,380 GPs by 2025 unless urgent steps are taken to address the shortfall. This needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency.

“Rather than struggling to keep practices open, GPs should be treating patents and helping to establish an exciting new model of community based care in which they are future leaders.”