We have 'disregarded primary care and general practice' - NAGP Chairman

Update 2.57pm:The National Association of General Practitioners says more money needs to be invested in primary caregivers if we're to tackle hospital overcrowding.

The association says other countries have transformed their health systems by investing in the cheapest level of care - which is GPs.

It's one of the issues being highlighted at the NAGP's two-day conference being held in Cork.

Speaking to Cork's 96FM news, head of the association Andy Jordan says the government needs to rethink how the health budget is spent.

"We are putting all our money into the hospitals and that's the most expensive care. It costs a thousand euros a day to have a patient in the hospital, roughly a thousand a week to have them in a nursing home, you can have a very good home care package for a couple of hundred euros a week.

"So we're just investing in the most expensive part of medicine. We have disregarded primary care and general practice."

Update 11.16pm: Today's AGM by the National Association of General Practitioners will warn that General Practice is in crisis.

It will also highlight the emigration of young, highly trained GPs and the early retirement of experienced well-respected doctors.

The organisation says this is because of Financial Emergency Measures in Public Interest cuts imposed a number of years ago.

NAGP President Dr. Emmett Kieran says the emigration of young doctors is a big problem.

He said: "As things stand at the moment we have mass emigration and that is based on a 45-year-old contract which is outdated and also based on the financial measures in public interest sent the cut to 38% of funding from general practice.

So it is actually not viable as a qualified GP to set up a practice or take over a practice as there are huge financial constraints.

Earlier: Healthcare transformation key focus as NAGP AGM continues in Cork

The National Association of General Practitioners is to continue to hold its AGM today in Cork.

It will draw attention to the increasing frustration among GPs that young, highly trained doctors are emigrating.

It is after its ballot last week showed 84% of its members would not sign a new GP contract.

NAGP President Dr. Emmett Kerin says health transformation will be a key topic of discussion today.

He said: "We have a number of international speakers from both the UK and the USA.

"They will be speaking in regard to health transformation and innovation in a primary care setting.

We are looking for a transformation in our healthcare centre through Sláintecare and general practice is a key enabler in that.

"The focus of today's AGM is to see how we can enable general practice to lead that transformation."

- Digital Desk

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