Covid-19: People not registered with GP will not be turned away

Covid-19: People not registered with GP will not be turned away

People not registered with a GP are being told no doctor will turn them away if they phone in to ask about Covid-19 symptoms.

It is thought thousands of people are not registered with any GP with up to 70% of practices too busy to accept new patients in recent years.

Consultancy fees have been waived for people phoning in to ask about symptoms but clinics are extremely busy.

Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) president Dr Mary Favier says they want to reassure people who do not already have a relationship with a doctor they will get help.

"The types of patients we are most concerned about here are those who are often new to an area.

"They might be migrants to Ireland, they may have moved away from home and no longer have their family GP, their GP may have died, retired, closed their practice.

"Sometimes it is younger people who want to change GP and then lose contact with a general practitioner."

Dr Favier's own clinic has been too busy to accept new patients for almost five years and she says that 70% of GPs are not taking new patients - or were not until this week.

However, she says that they will work as hard as they can as long as they can for this crisis.

"These are exceptional times so we are going to need exceptional measures.

"I would be confident that GPs will step up to this role."

Meanwhile, the HSE are once again asking people not to share false information regarding Covid-19 on WhatsApp.

The HSE's chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry says they are not helping anyone.

"I can't make an appeal to the people who put these stories out because I can't understand their mindset.

"But I would appeal to anyone else not to copy these on."

He said that those looking for information should visit hse.ie.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

More on this topic

UK mayor says sorry for ‘Prime Minister completely deserves this’ Covid-19 commentUK mayor says sorry for ‘Prime Minister completely deserves this’ Covid-19 comment

Mercedes F1 team ready to start delivering breathing devices to British health workersMercedes F1 team ready to start delivering breathing devices to British health workers

Covid-19: Scientists develop Bluetooth tracing system that respects privacyCovid-19: Scientists develop Bluetooth tracing system that respects privacy

Students returning from six weeks at sea: 'Everything is different, everything has changed'Students returning from six weeks at sea: 'Everything is different, everything has changed'