12th October 2021  For immediate release.

Irish College of General Practitioners calls for urgent establishment of Working Group on Future General Practice.

Free GP care cannot be delivered without considerable expansion of GP workforce and innovative solutions to GP workload pressures.

The Irish College of General Practitioners, the professional and training body for GPs, has renewed its call for the urgent establishment of a Working Group on Future General Practice, following the Budget announcement of the expansion of free GP care for children up to the age of 7 years.

It is estimated that Ireland needs over 2,000 GPs over the next decade, to meet impending retirements and population growth. Over 700 older GPs are due to retire in the coming decade.

Dr. Diarmuid Quinlan, Medical Director of the ICGP. said: “Many GP practices are unable to take on new patients due to workload pressures and shortage of GPs. innovative solutions are needed to address these workforce problems.”

“A Working Group on Future General Practice would enable stakeholders and policy makers to plan that patients are able to see their GP when they need to, and plan for expanded GP services, and access to diagnostics.”

Dr. Quinlan said: “We saw during the COVID-19 pandemic how central and significant the role of general practice is in Irish healthcare. Now is the time for GPs to be central to the plan for future healthcare delivery.”

Responding to the announcement of a €31m Women’s Health Fund, with free contraception for 17 – 25 year olds, the  ICGP’s Director of Women’s Health, Dr Noirín O’Herlihy, said:

“The Irish College of General Practitioners has consistently advocated for free contraception as an essential component in the provision of reproductive health services through general practice.

Research shows that LARC – long acting reversible contraceptives – have greater efficacy than short-term contraceptive options. In addition, LARC contributes to a reduction in unwanted pregnancies and associated reduction in the related demand for terminations of pregnancy.”  ENDS

The ICGP’s Pre-Budget Submission can be read here

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

Tel. 01 2542984 / 087 2239830. Email: