GPs in Northern Ireland have voted in favour of an offer from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) to provide funding for three new clinical areas.
Osteoporosis, peripheral arterial disease and heart failure are the areas that the DHSSPS has proposed for inclusion into a new £2.7 million clinical directed enhanced service (DES).
The move will help GPs in Northern Ireland offer better clinical care to their patients, without extending hours.
GPs in England and Scotland have voted in favour of extended hours, while GPs in Wales voted for money from the current access DES to be used to support new ministerial priorities, not yet negotiated.
Dr Brian Dunn, GPC Northern Ireland chairman, said: 'The DHSSPS has proposed areas to be included in the clinical DES. It may be a mixture of what the DHSSPS wants and what GPC Northern Ireland wants.'
The inclusion of heart failure would be welcome in the clinical DES as it is known that prescribing beta-blockers can reduce heart failure by as much as 30 per cent, said Dr Dunn.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, west London GP and a member of the Target Peripheral Arterial Disease group, said: 'GPs in Northern Ireland must be delighted to have the new clinical DES.
'I wish that GPs in England had been given the same option. It is much better use of money.'
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