Large numbers of GPs are not signing up to be part of abortion provision because of the “disdain” they have been shown by Government as well as, or because of, their pro-life stance, according to a Kerry-based general practitioner.
So far under 10% of Ireland’s GPs have agreed to perform medical abortions since the legislation was implemented.
It’s a rarity for GPs to be tasked with providing abortion services around the world and it’s “completely separate to normal general practice” according to Dr Andrew O’Regan.
“It’s not surprising that there’s such a small number at the moment.”
“The reality is we’re living in a time where general practice is under huge strain, we’re actually unable to retain an awful lot of our young trainees.”
Doctors who provide abortion will receive a total fee of €450 for three visits, made up of a €150 consultation to cover initial consultation and a further €300 for carrying out the termination and aftercare.
Dr O’Regan described the payment as “a bribe” and “an inversion of reason”, saying that GPs currently receive €250 for 8-10 consultations for maternity care.
“The disdain that Simon Harris has shown for GPs – we’ve raised concerns about freedom of conscience and the way we’ve been treated by Simon Harris has been appalling…” he said.
Regarding complying with laws compelling GPs to refer a person seeking an abortion he said: “I will never do anything that will intentionally lead to the death of one of my patients, be that a baby in the womb or anybody else – an old or sick person – whether I’m operating within the law.
“The welfare of the patients in front of me are more important than a very, very corrupt law.”