Increased direct access to X-ray, CT, MRI and DEXA is now being rolled out for GPs. This will build on work already underway in the community to increase GP direct access to ultrasound. The increased direct access to radiology diagnostics will be made available via five private providers or hospitals. It will provide GPs with direct access to at least an additional 95,000 radiology scans in 2021. Increased GP access to X-Ray, CT, MRI and DEXA services was available to the full adult (16+) population of Ireland as part of the Winter 2020/21 initiative until the 28th February 2021. From 1st March 2021, the services will be available only to adult patients with a medical card, GP visit card or Health Amendment Act (HAA) card.
How to access the additional radiology services
For an overview of the process and the necessary steps please read the Radiology Diagnostics Referral Pathway. and the Radiology Referral Overview.
The Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) Matrices (see below) and National Matrix signposts you to the provider for the scan your patient needs. A summary of the radiology diagnostics services is provided therein.
You can find answers to any questions you may have about the rollout and how to refer your patient for X-ray, CT, MRI and DEXA in Your questions answered.
This rollout supports the long term objective to expand Primary Care services aligned to the:
- 2017 Sláintecare Report
- 2019 GP Agreement
- HSE Winter 2020/2021 Plan.
These reports highlight the crucial role played by GPs in shifting the provision of care from acute to community settings.