Investing just £2.1m a year in general practice could save £53m for the health service in Northern Ireland, an RCGP-commissioned report has found.
The study, carried out by professional services firm Deloitte, found that £13m a year could be saved by investing in GPs and practice nurses, which it says would reduce A&E visits.
It says that the extra investment in general practice would help increase access for patients and would therefore have a knock-on effect of reducing the number of patients attending A&E services.
Dr Shauna Fannin, deputy chair (policy) for RCGP Northern Ireland, said: ‘This report shows that investing in general practice should be an “economic must.” It is time for the Government to invest in primary care teams of GPs and nurses who deliver incredible value for money.’
Dr Fannin continued: ‘We urge the health minister to begin the process of investing in general practice in order to realise huge savings across the NHS.’
This comes after the RCGP presented the Northern Ireland assembly with a UK-wide petition of 300,000 signatures calling for more investment in general practice last month.
This included 16,208 signatories from Northern Ireland – the highest per population of any of the UK countries,