Use bonus money to fund GP practices

ICU monitor with several patients
ICU monitor with several patients

Bonuses paid to top hospital consultants would be better spent on local GP practices, according to the Chair of the Health Committee, Maeve McLaughlin.

The Sinn Féin MLA made the call after it was revealed £34m had been paid to senior doctors in bonuses in the last five years.

She said: “I met this morning (July 10) with a group from the College of GPs and they told me they are expected to do more and more with no additional resources.

“When they ask for resources to allow them to carry out their work they are told there is none.

“This huge figure of bonuses gives lie to that.

“The system of bonuses was abandoned by a previous health minister but brought back in by Edwin Poots and he needs to tell people why and what it has achieved.

“What this does flag up is that there is money in the health system which could be put to far better use in tackling health inequalities and improving treatment for patients.”