Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, has said key measures included in the 2019 GP Agreement, such as the Chronic Disease Management Programme, will come on stream from early 2020.
Minister Harris said:
"Sláintecare will reform Ireland’s health and social care service to create a modern, responsive service that offers the right care, in the right place, at the right time. Central to this is our goal to shift the majority of care from hospitals to the community setting, bringing care closer to home for patients. The effective management of chronic disease within community settings is an important step in the delivery of Sláintecare."
From early this year:
- a structured Chronic Disease Management Programme for patients over 75 will come into effect. This will ultimately allow patients suffering from four chronic diseases (Type-2 diabetes, asthma, COPD, and cardiovascular disease) to engage with their GPs on management of their conditions. Roll-out in 2020 will begin with those aged over 75, and will be followed by further roll-out to additional patients over the following three years
- therapeutic phlebotomy for patients with haemochromatosis will be made available in GP practices
- GPs and the HSE will engage in medicines reviews and virtual cardiac clinics (on a pilot basis), designed both to ensure best care for patients and most efficient use of resources
The improvements in locum cover for maternity and paternity cover for GPs will also come on stream in 2020.
The Rural Practice Allowance will be increased by 10%, while funding of €2 million will be made available to support general practice in urban areas of deprivation.
Minister Harris said:
"The Agreement reached with the Irish Medical Organisation promises to deliver improvements in conditions for GPs and improvements in care for patients.
"The series of measures to be introduced in 2020, including the structured Chronic Disease Management Programme which will begin roll-out from the beginning of this year, will deliver on that promise.
"I am particularly pleased to see that the constructive engagement between my department, the HSE, and the IMO on a key part of our health system is delivering concrete results.
"The Chronic Disease Management Programme in particular is expected to bring significant improvements in care for patients. This will bring improvements in quality of life for patients as well as easing pressure on our hospitals."