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GPs in Northern Ireland should be able to access occupational health services from this month.

Practice staff have been able to access an occupational health scheme since January this year but a pilot scheme from this month will enable GPs themselves to seek help for stress and drug and alcohol problems.

The scheme, which will run for a year initially, covers the whole of the province and will allow GPs to self-refer, and attend for pre-employment medicals and regular check-ups.

Dr Brian Dunn, GPC NI chair, said: ‘GPs are notorious for neglecting their own health. GPs do have a higher rate of suicide, alcohol and drug dependency.

‘They generally try to self-medicate and don't admit to being unwell.'

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