HSE doesn’t collate data on how many patients can’t get a doctor’s appointment
NEITHER THE NATIONAL Medical Card Unit (NMCU) nor the HSE collate or count the number of applications from people who have been unable to obtain a GP appointment in their locality.
If a person is unable to secure a doctor’s appointment in their area, the rules set out that they can get in touch with the medical card unit indicating that they have applied to three practices who were unable to accept them on their panels.
In such circumstances, the client can then be assigned to an available GP who has a contract with the HSE.
The Dáil has heard that 70% of GPs have closed their lists to new patients as it is the only way they can control their workloads.
Despite a government deal to improve conditions for doctors, the number of GPs has been static since the start of the year.
The HSE said they are aware of the situation of doctors closing their lists, which is resulting in some people being unable to book a doctor’s appointment or even be added the clinic’s list of patients.
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