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Minister Jim Daly commended GPs for their hard work and dedication to the healthcare system, last weekend at the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) AGM in Cork.

The Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People acknowledged the outlook of the NAGP, praising the association’s collective approach in driving the conversation on healthcare reform by looking abroad for best practice and solutions to implement in to the Irish system.

Minister Daly also made the announcement that: “Minister Simon Harris has been in negotiation with Cabinet for the past few weeks and that there has been agreement that FEMPI will be reversed but that it will be linked to service improvements across General Practice which will benefit patients across all communities. Multi annual budgeting will commence in 2019”.

The NAGP remains resolute that conditions linked to the reversal of FEMPI cuts is not for negotiation, asserting that, if functionality is to be restored to General Practice, the cuts must be reversed immediately and should not be linked to additional work.

The association has stated: “GPs are already at maximum capacity, with burnout being a major issue amongst our members. Our young GPs are voting with their feet and emigrating while our more seasoned GPs are retiring earlier than planned”.

Dr Maitiu O’Tuathail, who was was recently made the first lead non-consultant hospital doctor (NCHD) for General Practice and who is also the Co-Chair of the Network of GP trainees, was appointed the new President of the NAGP at the AGM.

The Rathfarnham-based Galway man and GP trainee, who is the first GP Co-Chair of the trainee subcommittee of the forum of postgraduate training bodies, acknowledged the hard work of the outgoing President Dr Emmet Kerin, saying that he has been; “an integral part of the union for the past two years and will continue to be for many years to come”.

Dr O’Tuathail took the opportunity to highlight his belief that General Practice will live or die depending on the actions taken by his generation of GPs, concluding by saying: “we must continue the fight. Together I am hopeful that we can make General Practice great again”.

Pictured is Dr. Emmet Kerin, President National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) presenting the Dr. Francis Rynd Innovation Award to Micheàl Martin TD, at the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) AGM Dinner 2018, at the Clayton Hotel Silver Springs, Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan

The AGM also celebrated former Minister for Health, Micháel Martin, by presenting him with the Dr Frances Rynd Innovation Award for his implementation of the smoking ban. On March 29th, 2004, the Republic became the first country to ban smoking in pubs, restaurants and all other workplaces.

Although this honour is typically awarded to people within General Practice, an exception was made in recognising Deputy Martin’s policy implementation and the positive effect that it has had on our nation.

He said: “I want to thank you for all the work you have done and continue to do for all GPs. To my colleagues for supporting me in the campaign at the time, I want to say thank you. I look forward to working with the NAGP in the months and years to come”.