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Northern Ireland invests £7m in general practice

The Northern Ireland Executive has announced a £7m increase in GP contractual funding as negotiations for a 2016/17 deal have concluded in Northern Ireland.

It said the deal represented ‘a significant investment’, which will increase overall funding by 3% and will cover a 1% pay rise.

Northern Irish GPC welcomed the increased funding but said that practices still faced the threat of closure as workforce pressures meant they could not recruit.

NIGPC chair Dr Tom Black said: ’The investment put forward in this year’s general practice contract is welcome and acknowledges the hard work of GPs who have come up with new ideas to help address the impact of years of under-funding and inadequate workforce planning.

’Despite this, we are still living with the real threat of GP practices closing as doctors retire and cannot be replaced. We are keeping a close watch on this issue, particularly in the border counties where many practices are vulnerable to collapse.’

Health minister Simon Hamilton said the deal ’will help to address rising demand and will ensure we adopt innovative new ways of working such as online appointment booking and repeat prescriptions’.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Wow! Amazing!!!! Lets all go to work in Northern Ireland!!!!!!!

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  • Mr Mephisto

    Last year The Northern Ireland Assembly found £40 million "down the back of the sofa" to invest in health care. They gave £39.1 million to secondary care and £0.9 million to Primary Care - it shows how much they value Primary Care. We will see how well A&E copes when the GP system implodes. All that cash that they invested in A&E would have gone a long way to stopping the rot in GP land. The rural areas are starting to implode already with practice closures. Within the next five years rural border areas in South Armagh, Fermanagh, and West Tyrone will be undoctored. Let the politicians try an explain that to their electorate. "Transferring Your Care" is a great political whizz -they give all of the money to Secondary Care and all of the work to Primary Care

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  • Mr Mephisto

    Further evidence that the Department of Health on Northern Ireland has bet all of its resources on Secondary Care.

    The BMA published statistics in February 2015 in a publication entitled “General practice in Northern Ireland: The case for change”

    There is a very telling graph on page 11 of the document (figure 10) which shows the massive explosion in medical registrar and medical consultant numbers from 2007 onwards.

    Please Google the report and read it for yourself.

    So much for "Transferring Your Care" + "The Dump Left"

    The Department of Health need to put their money where their mouth is and start betting on a different horse.

    The horse that they have been betting on all along is just about knackered and their alternative bet is on its last legs.

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