It costs about £800 a night to cover those hours yet the two GPs available only receive an average of seven calls within that time. But professionals criticised this proposal, saying there are many things a paramedic cannot do that a GP can and that people would have to be brought into A and E unnecessarily.
Scrapping the service would have made the Island the first area of the British Isles without 24-hour GP cover. Following a consultation period the suggestion has been dropped.
Health Minister David Anderson said: ‘The closure of MEDS between midnight and 8am was one of a number of suggested measures to reduce the significant cost of providing this out-of-hour services.’
But he said the clinical lead of MEDS had been consulted and suggested that a reduction in pay for covering those hours was the best way to protect the interest of patients while also achieving savings. Revised rates of payment- which were not disclosed in Tynwald – will take effect from July 1. More.