IMO warns some GPs may not be able to afford free care scheme

The head of the Irish Medical Oganisation's GP committee has said that many of his members may not be able to afford to run the free care scheme for children under six.

Yesterday it was revealed that General Practices will have to opt in to participate in the scheme.

It had previously been thought that the scheme was compulsory and all GPs would be automatically signed up.

Dr. Ray Walley of the IMO GP Committee said €160m in cuts to GP funding means many doctors may not be able to afford it.

"Many general practices run on (the) financial precipice (are) finding it difficult to maintain the services," he said.

"Many general practices have curtailed the service by letting some of their staff go, or reducing the hours of their staff.

"So literally this can come down to economic viability - whether they can provide this or not."

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