Independent TD Mattie McGrath has described the decision of Minister for Health Leo Varadkar to suspend any further roll out of free GP care plans as a spectacular embarrassment for the government. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Minister finally admitted that the plan as originally conceived is destabilising GP practice nationwide:
“The retreat from the UHI model was a massive embarrassment for this Government. But this further retreat confirms the chaos at the heart of their local health policy.
More particularly it demonstrates that the construction of the single greatest overhaul in health policy was and is utterly incoherent and unsustainable.
This was an issue that has been consistently flagged by the majority of Tipperary GP’s particularly those in the south of the county.
GP organisations like the NAGP will rightly point out that this retreat totally vindicates their concerns around the long term impact of any further roll out of universal access to free GP care.
We need a sensible, targeted use of resources that gives priority to children and the elderly suffering from chronic long term illness.
It is time Minister Varadkar came clean on this instead of continuing to push through these free GP plans which have the potential to destabilise the entire GP infrastructure,” concluded Deputy McGrath.