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Government’s GP contract to end

News | Published:

A CONTRACT which saw over 100 GPs from 13 different practices employed directly by the government will not be renewed past August, it has been confirmed.

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The government said the decision had been taken due to the reduced Covid-19 infection rate and their wish to restore previous services to patients as soon as possible.

The move followed the publication of an advert in Monday’s JEP, commissioned by the pressure group Friends of Our New Hospital, which claimed that the Health Department was planning on nationalising GP services permanently and ‘introducing by stealth’ less palatable elements of its planned Jersey Care Model – a revamp of existing services.

However, during Tuesday’s States sitting, Health Minister Richard Renouf dismissed the claims, describing them as ‘falsehoods’ and ‘inaccurate’.

Now, Dr James Mair, from the Primary Care Body, said the claims made by the pressure group were ‘not factually correct’ and that his colleague Dr Nigel Minihane wanted to distance himself from comments attributed to him ‘erroneously’ within the past few days.

He said: ‘The Primary Care Body has been working closely with the Health and Community Services Department over the past few months to safeguard Islanders from the Covid-19 outbreak. Now that the risk of infection has reduced it is time to restore previous services to our patients as soon as possible.’

Dr Mair added that GPs were in discussions with the Health Department about how patients would be supported as the Island eased out of lockdown and what measures would be put in place should a second outbreak occur.

He added: ‘We are also looking at the positives that have come from the necessary changes to see which of these may be utilised to improve patient care. Please rest assured all the GPs in Jersey wish to continue with the highly valued personal service to patients.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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