Belfast Telegraph

GP practices will receive nearly £4m in Northern Ireland

By Michael McHugh

Nearly £4m extra is to be invested in GP practices in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health said.

A total of £1.7m will tackle challenges associated with the country's ageing population while £2.2m will increase the value of the GP contract by 1%.

The health service contract provides funding to GP practices depending on the number and types of patients registered with them.

The senior civil servant at the Department of Health, permanent secretary Richard Pengelly, said: "The department recognises that primary care and GP services are the bedrock of our health and social care system."

He said the provision of a further £3.9m follows earlier investment this year of £1.9m for elective care like operations and £3.91m to continue the rollout of nearly 300 practice-based pharmacists.

The department is also introducing changes to the eligibility to the sickness leave scheme for GPs. It is estimated these changes will save GPs more than £2.5m per year in sickness leave insurance premiums.

Belfast Telegraph

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