Unprecedented national day of action by GPs over family doctor service crisis

Hundreds of GPs from every part of Ireland will be holding a mass protest outside Dáil Éireann on Wednesday, February 6

Hundreds of GPs from every part of Ireland will be holding a mass protest outside Dáil Éireann on Wednesday, February 6.

According to the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP), "this will mean that on the day, many GP practices maybe be closed to patients, or will have limited services available.

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"There is likely to be significant disruption to the GP service around the country on the day of the national protest.

"GPs will be protesting on behalf of patients, as the family doctor service is, or has in some areas, completely collapsed.

"They are tired of having to say sorry to patients.

“Sorry we can’t give you a same day appointment”
“Sorry our nurse is only here part-time”
“Sorry I can only give you a few minutes per consultation”
“Sorry, you have to wait four years for your hip replacement”.
“Sorry, you have to wait two years for an outpatient appointment.”
“Sorry, you have to wait five years for your cataract surgery.”
“Sorry, you are unable to access physiotherapy, psychology, podiatry and all the other ancillary services that make a health system work efficiently and safely”.
“Sorry, your relative died on a waiting list before their appointment came around.”

"We have not chosen this decision lightly but it is vital for us to make the Government and others fully aware that our health system is in crisis and has been so for years.

"This is despite that fact that we have one of the most expensive health systems in the world.

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"Evidence from around the world confirms that community based health systems, like the family doctor system, are the most efficient, safe and effective.

"Years of successive cuts in Government funding for general practice have created an inefficient unstructured health system which is collapsing.

"Also, promised extra investment in developing the GP service, like the fairytale promises under Sláintecare, have not even been begun to be delivered, so that the family doctor service can be healthy and sustainable for the future.

"For months, the Government have promised to reverse the 38% cuts imposed over past years (FEMPI cuts to GPs) and to offer - and properly fund a new, modernised GP contract - but these things have not materialised.

"The number of doctors who can no longer take on any more patients is a growing crisis.

"The medical card system can no longer cope, having been starved of resources.

"Not enough new doctors are being appointed by the State, to serve the public and many are having to retire early, due to burnout.

"GPs are at, and many have passed, breaking point.

"The future survival of the GP service is vital, to enable it to serve patients.

"This issue affects whole communities around Ireland.

"For these reasons, GPs will be taking unprecedented action on Wednesday, February 6."

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