The Health Minister has moved to reassure GPs that healthcare will not be 'nationalised' or made to resemble the NHS ahead of a crucial vote on the future of healthcare in Jersey tomorrow.
In a statement, Deputy Richard Renouf said that under the proposed Jersey Care Model, GPs “remain independent service providers.”
It follows a report from the Health Care Scrutiny Panel, which slammed the Model for “insufficient pace and rigour,” and highlighted concerns from GPs, with over 50% consulted saying they would probably or definitely not be receptive of future employment opportunities contracted by Health Care Services.
GPs were initially contracted for four months as Government employees to help combat the pandemic, but returned to their usual roles at the end of August. However, work has been done to look at potentially extending these contracts and change the model on a permanent basis.
One GP commented on the plans: “It sounds good but given my experience of working for 'the government' over the last 4 months I am very wary and sceptical.
“The government don't seem to be able to achieve simple things like sticking to the terms of our contract and paying people correctly so I'm not sure how they can achieve this complex change of system.”
Pictured: The Jersey Care Model Scrutiny Review revealed that GPs had concerns about being employed by the Government rather than private practitioners.
Deputy Renouf said in response to concerns: “GPs play an important role in the delivery of healthcare provision within the island. I completely agree that the benefits of the GP service must be retained, such as the continuity of care for patients by their GPs and the availability of direct, timely access.”
He added: “Health and care services must be tailored to the requirements of Jersey. Under the Jersey Care Model proposals, the Government of Jersey retains the provision of core Hospital, Community, Mental Health and Social Care services.
“GPs, community pharmacy, dentistry and ophthalmologists remain independent service providers. Community organisations such as Family Nursing and Homecare, Jersey Hospice Care, Mind Jersey and others remain sovereign bodies that are commissioned by Government to provide key services.”
The Jersey Care Model will be debated in the States Assembly tomorrow.
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