Fianna Fáil Senator Robbie Gallagher has called for better funding and contracts for GP’s in Cavan Monaghan to protect services across the health sector, particularly in rural Ireland.

Senator Gallagher said “Recently we saw hundreds of GP’s protesting outside Leinster House to tell the government ‘enough is enough’ on lack of funding and contract negotiations. They turned out to seek a reversal of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) Act 2015, which they say is causing a crisis in the sector.

“Funding for GP’s over the last ten years has increased from about €450m to €550m but in that time the number of people covered by the State’s medical card scheme has doubled. So, per patient, the payment has actually gone down 38%.

“There was a time when communities in Ireland always had three key pillars in their midst – the priest, the bank manager and the local GP. Soon there will be communities in Cavan Monaghan with none of the three.

“Getting it right at primary care level with our GP’s is critical to sorting out the problems in the health service but the government continues to turn a blind eye while the waiting lists soar,” concluded Senator Gallagher.