26th January 2022 – For immediate release.
Irish College of General Practitioners reiterates call for a Working Group on Future General Practice to plan for serious GP workforce pressures, in submission to Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health.
Committee to discuss challenges of GP shortages & impending retirements.
Many GP practices are unable to take on any new patients, with too few GPs to meet demand.
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.
The ICGP will appear before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health today (26th January 2022).
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: “Ireland has 29% fewer GPs per head than the UK, and existing GPs are seeing increased workload and demand. The College has steadily increased its training numbers, and we aim to train 350 per year by 2026. But at present, innovative solutions are needed to address these workforce problems and in particular the retention of GPs when qualified.”
The College has called for the urgent establishment of a Working Group on Future General Practice, to plan for future health provision including the expansion of free GP care and workforce planning with all stakeholders.
Dr. Quinlan added: “The voice of General Practice must be heard in these major decisions. We welcome the completion of the transfer of GP training from the HSE to the ICGP, and we are working closely with the HSE on the expansion of training places for GPs.”
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.”
“The outlook in general practice is more positive now, with fewer GPs emigrating and the introduction of the Chronic Disease Management programme. We need to ensure General Practice continues to provide high quality care to patients, and ensure it continues to be a stable and rewarding career for GP graduates.”
Issued by: Aileen O’Meara, Communications Consultant, Irish College of General Practitioners.
Tel. 01 2542984 / 087 2239830. Email: ICGP.firstname.lastname@example.org
The full text of the Joint Committee submission is below.