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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Row as PCT initiative overrides contract

GPs in Northern Ireland are threatening to shut up shop on July 13 after the day was ruled out as a public holiday.

The date, the day after the Twelfth Parades, is normally a 'privilege holiday'. But under new Agenda for Change regulations, it is not counted.

Dr Brian Dunn, chair of GPC Northern Ireland, said GPs would have to work without staff if they opened. 'It will be chaotic,' he said. 'It puts GPs in a very difficult position because they can't vary the working hours of staff who would normally take that day as a holiday.

'You then have to question ''is it going to be safe to work, and will specialists be working''?'

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public said the 13th was not a common-law holiday, and GPs were responsible for providing primary care during 'core hours'.

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