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NI GPs get 48hr access target

GPs in Northern Ireland have been brought in line with the rest of the UK after the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety set a 48-hour access target.

The target has been established because of the requirement on PCOs to set up directed enhanced services for access under the new contract.

The Northern Ireland target states patients requiring professional clinical advice, diagnosis or treatment will be able to access a GP or appropriate primary care professional in two working days.

Health minister Angela Smith said the target – reviled by many GPs in England, Scotland and Wales – 'can only be to the benefit of patients'.

But she acknowledged imposing the target meant patients would not always get to see the GP they want.

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