Annual Conference of Irish College of General Practitioners held with the theme  “The New Normal” as GPs prepare for post-COVID-19 health services.

Expansion of GP training places and resources for GP training a priority for coming years.

( Media embargo 09am )

The Annual Conference of the Irish College of General Practitioners (22nd May) was held virtually as a half-day event on the theme of “The New Normal”.

The conference was officially opened by the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD at 10.20am, followed by the Plenary Session discussing the Australian experience of delayed diagnosis of cancer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Ms. Elizabeth Kennedy, from the MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne.

The incoming President of the Irish College of General Practitioners, Dr Tom O’Dowd, said: “We are now at the stage of planning for the “new normal”, when we assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our health services, and on our GPs. This is a busy conference, with 15 updates on clinical subjects, as well as sessions on anxiety and the work-life balance.”

“GPs have dealt with 80% of all COVID-19 cases, and were the first port of call for anyone with possible symptoms. They have been central to the delivery of vaccines to the elderly and vulnerable patients since the beginning of this year. At the same time, they have experienced a huge increase in workload as all the non-COVID-19 work is also managed.”

“We know there is greater recognition of the essential role of General Practitioners in the health service, and this must be matched by more resources, with a strong emphasis on retention of GPs, and planning for retirements.”

As the Chronic Disease Management (CDM) programme is rolled out, GPs are providing more services at community level. General Practice training is expanding, with 236 trainees starting training in July 2021, the highest number ever.  Furthermore, the delivery of GP Training is being transferred from the HSE to the College.

The Conference will be preceded by the AGM’s Business Meeting, and during the morning there will be a wide choice of clinical workshops run virtually for GPs to attend virtually.

A registration link to attend the conference virtually is available for the media.

ISSUED BY: Aileen O’Meara, Communications Consultant, Irish College of General Practitioners. 

Tel. 01 2542984 / 0897 2239830.


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Full programme here