The future of the NoWDOC out of hours GP service is under threat due to an impasse between the HSE and Caredoc management that could see the service cease to exist in its current form unless the matter is resolved by March 1st.
The dispute arises between the HSE management of NoWDOC and the Caredoc organisation which is helping to run the NoWDOC system.
The Nowdoc GPs had felt that the HSE-run Nowdoc system that has operated in the North West since 2004 could be improved upon and they asked the GP-run and owned Caredoc co-op in the South East to become involved to modernise the running of the NoWDOC co-op.
Caredoc took over the running of some aspects of the co-op in January 2014 and from the GPs’ point of view have been very competent, and successfully introduced several improvements to the service.
However, the GPs say the HSE management have blocked Caredoc from access to the Nowdoc IT system, it refuses to make a subvention to help with the cost of providing 24 hour GP cover in what is a very rural area, and there is a dispute about a Caredoc medical director’s post and oversight of the clinical day to day management of the service.
What all this means is that Caredoc now feel that they have been misled by the HSE management in the area and have announced their intention to pull out on March 1st next.
Caredoc have confirmed that they are willing to meet with an independent arbitrator, after a request made by the local GPs, but say the HSE have not agreed and refuse to meet with the arbitrator.
The HSE told the Leitrim Observer it continues to liaise with GPs regarding the future organisation of the out of hours service to ensure an ongoing, quality service is delivered. See page 3.