DoH sets December deadline for local-rate calls to practices

Practices have until 21 December 2010 to stop charging more than local rates for telephone calls to them, according to health minister Mike O'Brien.

Mr O'Brien: Practices must stop charging more than local telephone rates
Mr O'Brien: Practices must stop charging more than local telephone rates

Healthcare Republic reported last month that the DoH had effectively banned the practice of charging more than local rates for calls to surgeries.

Speaking during a parliamentary debate on Tuesday, Mr O'Brien said: ‘We have engaged with some of the companies involved and, to be fair to them, they have said that they are prepared to negotiate equitable arrangements with the GPs to see whether we can get them all out of this as soon as possible. They have all got to be out by 21 December, but we want to see them out now, or as soon as they possibly can be.'

He added: ‘GPs will have this year to end the practice completely and get out of any contracts that cause that to happen.'

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