Three Leitrim GPs in top 100 medical card earners list
Three Leitrim doctors have made the top 100 earning GPs in the medical-card scheme last year.
Details released under the Freedom of Information Act show Dr Seán Bourke’s medical practice in Ballinamore made €548,737 through the medical-card scheme last year. Dr Bourke is placed 15th in the top 100 earners from the medical card scheme.
Dr Declan Loftus, Drumshanbo made €518,910 and Dr Arthur Michael Dolan, Mohill made €454,440. All figures are gross and include practice support.
Dr Geoffrey Burke in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan also made the top 100 with earnings of €475,218.
The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) reacted angrily to the release of GMS payment figures to GPs.
Chief Executive Chris Goodey said, “The release of these figures in isolation provides a misleading impression that this is what GPs earn. The fees indicated by the HSE fund the salaries of the GP employees, practice nurses and administration staff, the cost of premises, insurance, technology, supplies, insurance, light and heat, consumables, etc. The manner in which the fees are published fail to highlight this.
“GPs receive, on average, €9 per month for each medical card patient irrespective of whether they attend once or 10 times over that month. The reality is that these payments do not cover the cost of that care.
“We are disappointed that the HSE has released these grossly-misleading figures. It is an issue that we will be reporting to the Data Protection Commissioner.”
Consultants to strike
Meanwhile, hospital consultants have threatened a move towards taking industrial action in the new year if an equal rate of pay is not restored for doctors hired before and after 2012.
In 2012, the government introduced a two tier pay system for hospital consultants, consultants hired after this date are paid up to 30% less than their colleagues who were hired before then. This results in some consultants earning up to €55,000 a year less than some of their colleagues. As things stand, the IMO say that 500 vacant consultant posts are unfilled in Irish hospitals.