The Irish College of General Practitioners highlights the scale of GP workforce crisis at Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health.

ICGP has commenced a Non-EU Rural GP Initiative to augment rural GP workforce.

The Irish College is the professional body for general practice in Ireland, and is dedicated to general practice education, training, research and advocacy on behalf of the profession and patients.

In its submission (below) to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health today (December 14th), the College has warned that workforce and workload pressures have put general practice under serious strain.

The submission reiterated the College’s 10 solutions in its recently published discussion document “Shaping the Future” .

The submission includes details of the new non-EU Rural GP Initiative, which is a collaboration between the ICGP and the HSE to help bridge the GP workforce deficit in rural Ireland. The initiative will assist non-EU doctors with appropriate GP experience to work in routine, daytime rural GP practice.  The ICGP and ‘host’ GP practice will provide two years of ongoing education supports, study leave and clinical supervision, with a named GP supervisor in their host rural GP practice. Upon successful completion of the two years, the non-EU GP will be eligible to sit the College’s Membership Examination.

The Chief Executive Officer of the ICGP, Fintan Foy, said: “The ICGP is now training 70% more GPs per year than it did six years ago, but we have an ageing workforce and an expanding population. A quarter of our GPs are over 60 years of age. Many practices are at full capacity; we do not want to see waiting times for routine appointments increasing. We need to act collectively to address the needs of general practice patients”.

He added: “The non-EU Rural GP Initiative is a strategic HSE-ICGP collaboration. We will support experienced non-EU GPs to practice safely and learn effectively for two years. The ICGP and the ‘host’ rural GP practice will provide substantial education supports, protected study leave and clinical supervision.”

The Chairman of the ICGP, Dr John Farrell, said: “ We welcome the Minister’s decision to establish the Task Force on the Future of General Practice. This is a positive step forward.“

He added: “The HSE has a statutory obligation to provide GP care to patients with GMS eligibility. We cannot meet the current or future GP workforce or workload demands. We are not adequately resourced to meet current or future patients’ clinical needs. GP practices are busier than ever, but less able to find replacements for retiring GPs or new GPs to expand their practices and deal with growing workloads.”

In its “Shaping the Future” discussion document, the ICGP outlined the 10 potential solutions it believes will help relieve the GP workforce crisis, as well as the non-EU Rural GP Initiative.

  • Expand GP-led Multidisciplinary Teams.
  • At least double the number of GP Practice Nurses.
  • Resource the career expectations of future GPs.
  • Provide suitable premises for GP-led Multidisciplinary teams.
  • Support suitably-qualified GPs to take on GMS lists.
  • Increased remote consulting.
  • Introduce a career pipeline for rural general practice.
  • Develop the role of Practice Manager.
  • Increase exposure to General Practice in Medical Schools.
  • Invest in GP data-informatics to drive policy and practice.

Download the Submission here

ICGP’s Submission to Joint Committee on Health – 14Dec22

The ICGP’s representatives at the Oireachtas Health Committee are:

  • Dr John Farrell, Chairman of the ICGP Board, and a GP in Cahir, Co Tipperary.
  • Dr Diarmuid Quinlan, Medical Director of the ICGP, and a GP in Glanmire, Co. Cork.
  • Mr Fintan Foy, Chief Executive Officer, ICGP.


The Committee’s hearings can be viewed live online via the Oireachtas website

ICGP’s Submission to Joint Committee on Health – V7 09Dec2022 (2) (1) (1)

ISSUED BY: Aileen O’Meara, Communications Consultant, Irish College of General Practitioners. Tel. 01 2542984 / 087 2239830.  Email: