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Health Minister O’Neill shows support for GP services

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Health Minister Michelle O’Neill has today met with the BMA General Practice Committee Chair, Dr Tom Black to discuss a range of issues facing GP surgeries.

The Minister said: “I am very aware of the increasing demand for GP services and I have had an opportunity today to listen to the concerns of the BMA GP Committee about the sustainability of General Practice.”

Michelle O’Neill said: “I have been clear about my determination to move the focus of our system from acute services to primary and community care.

“Today I’m announcing a further investment of over £900k in GP Federations. This funding will help broaden the skills mix in primary care as well as enhance capacity to meet growing patient demand. Working together through Federations will help GPs find new ways of working to address the challenges they face.

“It is particularly important that we ensure small rural and single handed practices are supported to continue to deliver services in their communities. The investment I am announcing today should be of particular benefit to these smaller surgeries that will benefit from the economies of scale that working as part of a Federation could bring.”

The Minister added: “GPs are at the centre of our health and care system and I intend to build on the positive steps that have already been taken to support these services, including the investment of £1.2m to fund additional GP training places and the £7m invested into the GP contract this year.”

Emphasising her commitment to driving long term reform in health and social care Michelle O’Neill said: “In addition to the investment I have announced today I will be carefully considering the recommendations from the recent GP led Care Review in developing my long-term plans for the continued provision of high quality GP services and I look forward to continuing to work with the BMA General Practice Committee.”

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