Fine Gael candidate for Tipperary, Noel Coonan, has today welcomed a new enhanced package for rural GPs, which has been announced by the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar. It follows discussions between the HSE, the Department of Health and the Irish Medical Organisation.
“It is so important that we support rural GP practices in Tipperary so families living in towns and villages in rural Ireland can access medical care in their own communities. The Government is putting in place a new framework to support rural practices, which will raise the qualifying criteria for rural support and the financial allowance for rural GPs will also increase by about 25% to €20,000.
“At present, 167 GPs benefit from the existing Rural Practice Allowance. Under the new arrangements, it is expected that an extra 165 GPs will benefit from rural practice supports. It is expected these new arrangements will come into force from the start of May, and will benefit GPs in rural areas of Tipperary.
“This has been an issue of concern in Bansha for example. At present there is a locum GP in situ at the Bansha practice. The permanent post is being re-advertised with closing date 29th February 2016.
“It is only possible to invest in rural GP practices and other services thanks to the economic recovery. If we continue to create more and better jobs, we will generate the resources necessary to invest in better services for people living in Tipperary,” concluded Noel.