GP group says introduction of abortion services "must not be rushed"

The head of the NAGP has said it's vitally important that the process is handled correctly 'from the outset'

GP group says introduction of abortion services "must not be rushed"

File photo. Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

The group that represents most of the country's GPs has stressed that new abortion services will be delivered by ordinary doctors and 'not by academics and politicians'.

An emergency general meeting of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) took place in Portlaoise today in the wake of the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

The association said there was a "long, detailed and informed" debate over the issue.

The doctors passed three motions - one calling on Health Minister Simon Harris to clarify that he does not intend to make termination of pregnancy service 'part of routine General Practice'; another calling for an 'opt-in' provision for GPs who wish to provide the services; and a third saying that the NAGP should advocate for "conscientious objection without obligation to refer".

Speaking after the meeting, NAGP President Maitiu O’Tuathail said the association must advocate for the women of Ireland to receive a 'respectful, safe and supportive' service.

He said: "This process must not be rushed, we must do this correctly from the outset".

Dr O’Tuathail claimed that the Department of Health has yet to engage with ordinary GPs on the issue, adding: "Any new service delivery that is agreed will be delivered by ordinary Doctors to their patients and not by academics and politicians.

“If this is not done properly it risks being yet another scandal in the health service in years to come."

The Government has previously stated it hopes to have planned legislation on abortion passed through the Oireachtas by October, and all new services in operation by the start of next year.