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HSE agrees contract with out of hours GPs to continue phone consultations

Out of hours GPs will continue working after the HSE agreed to pay for Covid-19 phone consultations.

The North East Doctor on Call (NEDOC) service has said that up to 70% of its calls are now dealt with by a direct doctor assessment.

It claimed the HSE had refused to fund doctor triage calls but the health authority now says it will pay up to 75% of the total of last year's medical card scheme towards the service

Medical Director of NEDOC, Illona Duffy, said while that is not enough they will continue to provide the essential scheme.

Ms Duffy said: "We're doctors, we have to put our patients' care and wellbeing first and this isn't something that we're going to be striking over or talking about withdrawing our services for.

"I think we'll be left with no other option except to continue working and we want to do that, every doctor out there wants to know that patients will receive care when they want care.

"We know that over the next few weeks general practice will be more important than ever."

[ul][b]Useful information[/b] [li]The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here [/li] [li]Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;[/li] [li]GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.[/li] [li]ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024[/li] [/ul]