‘Absolute scandal’ GPs paid more for abortion than pregnancy care

Maternity and abortion services in Ireland are not adequately resourced, according to a GP in Wexford, who says surgeries are too busy to facilitate lengthy termination consultations.

It’s all about time management,” said Dr. Grainne Pinaqui of The Faythe Medical Practice. “If you get a phone call from a girl. How do you manage 40-45 minutes with no way of knowing how many appointments you have in a week. »

Dr Pinaqui said she was not aware of any GP surgeries in Wexford offering abortions. “They would probably be on a Monday morning when they found out they got pregnant. That’s the main reason why we haven’t committed to it yet. You might only have one doctor (in the practice), so how do you deal with the rest of the patients.

She said any girl or woman who has decided to go ahead with terminating her pregnancy is being offered support and advice. “We give them help, but we always tell them to search. I don’t know how other practices would coordinate it. Some doctors would. I think there are less than 10% of practices nationwide that provide the service, so until everyone is on board, it’s very difficult to get started. If everyone got involved, it would be much easier.
A group of Republican GPs founded START to advance abortion services after the 8th Referendum was repealed “but with everything that has happened in the last two years; that was another service I couldn’t take. We had Covid and then chronic disease management was kicked off by the HSE. Before everyone over 90 had to be seen, then it went to 60 and now it’s the appointments for everyone over 18 with a chronic illness. Where is it all going to end?!”
She said Waterford is the closest place people from Wexford can go for an abortion. “We will see them here afterwards if there are any ongoing medical issues or questions. There are two follow-up appointments covered by the service, but we are there afterwards for any gynecological problems and for psychological support.

Dr. Pinaqui said she knows some girls planning an abortion who didn’t attend the practice, preferring Google’s options. She said the way the GP service is delivered to patients is of paramount importance. “How do you provide the service efficiently so that patients don’t wait an hour because you have to rush for a crisis pregnancy visit. There is still a lot of Covid work: work certificates and long Covid.

Dr Pinaquai said it was an ‘absolute outrage’ that GPs are only paid €250 to manage pregnancies. “If I see an expectant patient who is happy to continue her pregnancy, there may be around seven visits, and if there are complications, there will be more. For a pregnancy like that, we are paid 250 €.

€450 is paid for three visits for pregnancy termination care. She said that advice, counseling and sometimes tablets should be prescribed for women who are continuing with their pregnancies. “We have to check they’re okay, so it’s about holding someone down and supporting them through a pregnancy and with a colicky baby, which can be very emotional, and even pregnancy loss. . Termination of pregnancy is much more remunerated than prenatal care.

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