20 January 2020
The Government Plan, which was passed by a majority of States Members in November, commits the Government to develop a scheme to address access for financially vulnerable groups to primary care services.
Deputy Geoff Southern of Reform Jersey has lodged a proposition (P125/2019) intended to bolster the Government’s commitment to introduce such a scheme early in 2021. The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, is happy to support the proposition, subject to some amendments to clarify the wording, which have been agreed with Deputy Southern.
Deputy Renouf said: "I am pleased to commit to progress the aim set out in the Government Plan to assist the financially vulnerable who need help to access GPs. This makes sense in that accessing primary care services in a timely way will help avoid health problems worsening.
"I look forward to working with all States Members in making this happen. This is all part of the work on the Jersey Care Model – which received an enthusiastic reception both online and at the recent public parish meetings that were attended by more than 600 Islanders."
Under the Jersey Care Model, a new relationship with primary care providers is envisaged in which the government will contract with a range of primary care providers, including GPs, to deliver more services in the community, based on the needs of patients.
Work is now underway by health planning professionals to help develop and cost the Jersey Care Model, including the improved access to primary care. Once this work has been undertaken, the Minister can begin to devise a scheme.
In supporting the amended proposition, Deputy Southern said: "I’m pleased that following a meeting with the Minister for Health and Social Services earlier this week we have been able to agree that a scheme will be put in place, subject to States approval, that will reduce the cost of GP visits for financially vulnerable groups from early 2021. I look forward to working with the Minister on the range and scope of a scheme during the coming year."