A recent article by Michael McHugh in the Belfast Telegraph claims a tenth of GP practices could close in NI this year. With this information released, it raises the question of whether the residents of Northern Ireland have to look at private GP services in the very near future.
As many as one in 10 GP practices is expected to close in Northern Ireland this year, a doctors’ union warned.
Dr Tom Black called for an additional investment of £120m in general practice.
Reform has been delayed by the collapse of Stormont powersharing.
The senior medic warned when 60% of doctors signed undated resignation letters they would decide on whether to leave the NHS.
He said: “The NHS in Northern Ireland is in its greatest crisis since its inception.”
Dr Black, who is chairman of Northern Ireland’s GP Committee (NIGPC), was addressing a conference in Edinburgh yesterday.
He said: “We expect to lose between 5 and 10% of GP practices this year and we have already lost more than a quarter of GP practices in Co Fermanagh so far this year.”
Dr Black said plans for reform were agreed before Christmas with civil servants and the previous Health Minister. After the collapse of the power-sharing negotiations and lack of an agreed budget, Northern Ireland’s healthcare system has been left shrouded in uncertainty.
Dr Black added: “We cannot stand by and watch the destruction of the general practice through neglect, prejudice and incompetence.”
For the full article please visit http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/tenth-of-ni-gp-practices-could-shut-this-year-35735127.html
The Medigest Business Directory has a section dedicated to Private GP services, you can also discuss the above article in our forums. If the shutting of your GP practice has affected you and your family then please let other people know how you have managed to deal with the situation.