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September 2, 2014

New online PCRS suite on verge of being finalised

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By Gary Culliton.

An online suite for GPs was due to be finalised at a meeting between the IMO and the Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) today, Wednesday, February 22.

The initiative involves new provisions for registering or renewing medical cards and a direct phone line for GPs to the centralised medical card service.

The new arrangements were due to be reviewed by the GP Committee at a meeting later that evening, GP Chair Dr Mary Gray told Irish Medical Times.

The IMO has in the past said that the PCRS has not sufficiently addressed concerns in regard to the issuing of new cards. The union understands that existing medical cards are to be extended for a period of three months, if there are paperwork delays. This would only apply to those who already had medical cards.

Another objective of the meeting was to make progress in relation to arbitration on GP out-of-hours working. A meeting between the IMO, Paddy Burke of the PCRS and the HSE’s Laverne McGuinness on February 11 considered the issue of arbitration and agreement was reached on a process for appointing an arbitrator.

It has also been agreed to reinstate a system of weekly GMS activity reports. However, disagreement emerged as to whether there was a discrepancy in regard to weekly reports. A person who is deleted mid-month should have had a valid card until the end of a month. Yet when GPs went into the GMS checker, the card was described as ineligible for prescriptions. This issue has now been resolved.

It was also agreed at a recent meeting with Minister of State Róisín Shortall than any change in administrative workload would need to be discussed with the IMO.

gary.culliton@imt.ie