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General practice ‘will go over the cliff’

Discussing a motion that called on the Minister for Health and the HSE to acknowledge the current workforce crisis in general practice, whereby 700 GPs are due to retire in the next five-to-seven years “with no prospect of new GPs taking over practices”, Kilkenny GP Dr Tadhg Crowley said it was not only a problem of retirement and recruitment.

He said that once one doctor goes, more will follow, as the workload will be unsustainable.

“I think it will be an explosion when it happens; we will go over the cliff like we have never seen before in the country.”

Dr Michael Kelleher, GP in Lahinch, Co Clare, said “we urgently need to address capacity issues, we urgently need to restore FEMPI to repair our existing service”.

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