Northern Ireland pay gap sparks list closure threat

GPs in Northern Ireland may close their lists to new patients unless a £2 million funding gap caused by a rapid population increase over the last three years is addressed.

Dr Brian Dunn
Dr Brian Dunn

The BMA in Northern Ireland estimates that the registered population has increased by 40,000 since the new contract came into force in 2004 due to the success of the peace process and economic migration from Europe, however practices have not received any extra money.

This leaves a gap of around £2 million across Northern Ireland, equating to around £2,000 per GP, according to the Northern Ireland GPC.

Dr Brian Dunn, Northern Ireland GPC chairman, said: ‘We have raised the matter with the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and have left it with it.

‘If extra funding is not made available then we will have to look at the options and one that would be seriously considered is for GPs to say they cannot take any more patients on as they are not getting any funding for them.’

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