GP service relaunches with new name despite owing money to staff and patients

A GP service that closed its clinics owing money to patients and staff has relaunched under a new name.

Like its predecessor GPNow, NetDrNow offers patients unlimited doctor visits for an upfront fee. It also offers the option of monthly direct debit payments.

According to its website, NetDrNow.com — which still contains a reference to GP Now — is operating out of two clinics, one in Swords and one in Sandyford. The addresses of the clinics are identical to those from which GPNow previously operated.

In addition, records at the Company’s Registration Office (CRO) show the company that presented documents for registration of NetDrNow was Nomis Secretarial Ltd, with an address at Unit 12, Mullaghboy Industrial Estate, Navan, Co Meath. The same company with the same address presented documents for registration of GPNow Ltd.

When the Irish Examiner contacted one of the two Dublin clinics last week and asked if NetDrNow was previously GPNow, the reply was “yes” and that it was “the same company”.

GPNow had operated five clinics, four in Dublin and one in Cork. The Cork clinic went into liquidation in May 2014, the year after it opened, owing €155,000. A substantial number of patients who took out a 10-year upfront membership at a cost of about €1,000 were left out of pocket. Two other clinics, GPNow Templeogue and GPNow Portmarnock, are listed as “dissolved” on the CRO website.

Last December, the Irish Examiner revealed patients of Dublin clinics who had paid €1,000 for a 10-year membership on the understanding the fee covered all the costs ended up being billed for blood tests, annual flu vaccinations, sick notes, and prescriptions.

According to its website, NetDrNow membership includes blood tests, administration of vaccines, repeat prescriptions, and annual flu vaccination with “no extra or hidden charges”.

Individuals can take out membership of NetDrNow for €20 a month with the exception of the first payment which is €50, or at a cost of €240 annually. Family membership is €40 a month, with an initial payment of €70, or an annual cost of €480. Corporate membership is also available.

A search of NetDrNow reveals nothing about the identity of the doctors who work for the service even though “who are the doctors?” is listed under frequently asked questions. Nor are there any clues as to the identity of those operating the service, billed on its Facebook page as “consultations online, in person, and by phone”.

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