Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Health

General Medical Services Scheme

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

To ask the Minister for Health if he plans to bring forward proposals to standardise the cost structure for blood tests in respect of those patients on general practitioner visit and medical cards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57558/12]

Photo of Alex WhiteAlex White (Dublin South, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Section 11 of the General Medical Services (GMS) GP Capitation Contract, which was introduced in 1989, provides that the medical practitioner shall provide for eligible persons, on behalf of the Health rvice Executive (HSE), all proper and necessary treatment of a kind usually undertaken by a general practitioner (GP) and not requiring special skill or experience of a degree or kind which GPs cannot reasonably be expected to possess.

GPs who hold GMS contracts with the HSE must not seek or accept money from medical card or GP visit card holders for services covered under the GMS contract. In circumstances where the taking of blood is necessary to either: (a) assist in the process of diagnosing a patient; or (b) monitor a diagnosed condition the GP may not charge the patient if they are eligible for free GMS services.

The Programme for Government provides for the introduction of a new GMS GP contract with an increased emphasis on the management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular conditions. It is envisaged that the new contract, when finalised, will focus on prevention and will include a requirement for GPs to provide care as part of integrated multidisciplinary Primary Care Teams. Officials in the Department are in consultation with the HSE with a view to drawing up a new contract. The appropriate arrangements in relation to phlebotomy services and other such services will be considered as part of the new contract.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.