News & Media

Lack of GP contract just another failure of Fine Gael in Health

6 February 2019

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Speaking in the Dáil today, the leader of the Labour Party, Brendan Howlin TD raised the issue of the ongoing failure of the government to deliver new GP contracts.

Speaking today, Deputy Howlin said:

“Fine Gael has been in charge of the Department of Health since March 2011. We have come out of the austerity years, and we are now in a position to bring our public health system forward.

“Funding to the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive has grown from €14.2 billion in 2011 to over €17 billion in 2019. We have seen numerous examples of Fine Gael's mismanagement of Health come to a head in recent weeks. Nurses on strike for the first time in decades, hundreds of millions of overspend on the National Children's Hospital, an escalation in an industrial dispute with Psychiatric Nurses. The list goes on.

“Today's demonstration outside Leinster House by GPs is an indication of the next crisis that is likely to unfold in health, GPs are beyond frustrated by the lack of process made on the new GP contract. 

“What I want to focus on today is the Government’s record on managing negotiations with General Practitioners. The Government has been negotiating a new contract with General Practitioners for at least four years, without any outcome.

“In order for the Programme for Government commitments to deliver more Primary Care centers to be achieved, we need a new GP Contract to be negotiated and agreed.

“In order to achieve the Government’s own commitment to provide free-of-charge GP care to all children and young people under the age of 18, we need the new GP Contract to be delivered.

“The latest report is that the Minister for Health began a new round of negotiations with the IMO in October of last year. It is essential to the future of general practice across Ireland that these are brought to a speedy and satisfactory conclusion.”