Campaign against GP funding cuts launched in Northern Ireland

The BMA has launched a campaign to publicise cuts in Northern Ireland that have left the average practice £15,000 out of pocket.

Dr Brian Dunn: 'The NHS in Northern Ireland is broke'
Dr Brian Dunn: 'The NHS in Northern Ireland is broke'

GPC chairman Dr Brian Dunn told GP 'the NHS in Northern Ireland is broke' and that he expects further cuts this year.

GPs in Northern Ireland face huge losses in 2010/11 because the Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety withdrew a substantial amount of enhanced service funding in the middle of the financial year, after practices had set their budgets.

The BMA estimates a total of £5m has been lost from general practice funding across Northern Ireland since 1 August 2010.

GPs are calling on patients to help protect services in local communities by signing a petition of support.

The petition, along with posters highlighting the plight facing patients, will be available in GP surgeries throughout the province.

Dr Dunn said the assembly government should be investing in primary care to ease pressure and save money in secondary care. 

But he was 'almost certain' the NI government will 'follow suit' with UK health secretary Andrew Lansley and impose a pay freeze on GPs pay for the following two years.

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