Minister Micheál Martin announces €4 million funding for further development of General Practice Out of Hours Co-Operatives
Micheál Martin T.D., Minister for Health and Children has announced funding of €4million for General Practice Out-of-Hours Co-operatives. Funding is being allocated to the Eastern Regional Health Authority and each of the health boards, with the exception of the North Eastern Health Board, which already has a region-wide GP out of hours co-operative.
This funding brings the Government’s spending on out of hours co-operatives to almost €50 million since their introduction to Ireland in 2000.
“There is presently an out of hours co-operative operating in every health board area. The funding now being provided will see the development of new co-operatives in Westmeath, Longford, Limerick City and County, Sligo, Leitrim, Wexford and Cork City. The funding will also allow for the expansion of existing co-operatives in Dublin and Galway”, Minister Martin said.
“General practice out of hours co-operatives, which are a central component of the Governments Primary Care Strategy, are state supported, GP run organisations, aimed at the provision of a structured out of hours general practitioner service. The co-operatives allow for vastly improved public access to GP services out of hours, while at the same time allowing GPs to regularise their out of hours commitment,” Minister Martin said.
Concluding the Minister said “The development of the out of hours co-operatives also has the potential to positively affect attendance patterns in Accident & Emergency Units through the provision of a more appropriate, easy to access out of hours primary care service.”