Extra GP services deal in Wales25th September 2008
The assembly government in Wales is offering GP surgeries extra funding in return for additional services.
To qualify for a share of the £16m package, GPs will be able to open in the evenings or at weekends.
However, they can also provide other services instead such as sexual health, heart or diabetes care.
The new contract will see local health boards (LHBs) able to commission GP practices to provide extra services from a range of options.
Health Minister Edwina Hart said the deal would lead to improved access to GP services and see the provision of a "wider range of enhanced services".
The deal follows lengthy negotiations better the Welsh Assembly and the British Medical Association's GP Committee Wales (GPC Wales).
Ms Hart said: "I am delighted that the assembly government and GPC Wales have been able to reach this agreement. Working with GP leaders on this issue was a key factor in delivering this agreement.
"In particular, LHBs will be able to negotiate with practices so that more surgeries offer more convenient opening hours for all, especially for patients that traditionally find it difficult to attend during normal hours."
Carol Jones, director of the Board of Community Health Councils in Wales, said there were concerns over the new arrangements, particularly in terms of timescale.
GPC Wales said the consultation and collaboration between doctors and the assembly government meant it was a "good deal" for patients and would allow GPs to use their expertise to provide more specialist care for those patients that require it.
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Title: Extra GP services deal in Wales
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 8496
Date Added: 25th Sep 2008