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IMO warns of GP retirements

The data outlines the number of GMS contract holders in each county and the age demographic of same.

Leitrim will be worst affected, as it looks set to lose half of its GPs within the next five-to-seven years.

Kilkenny will be next worst affected, as it is projected to lose 42 per cent of its GPs through retirement. In Mayo, 41 per cent of GPs will retire in the next five-to-seven years.

In Galway, the figure is 30 per cent, while in Dublin, 172 GPs or 27 per cent are set to retire.

The IMO released the figures on Twitter recently, with members engaging the media and politicians in highlighting the issue.

The Organisation predicts that by 2025 there will be a shortage of over 2,000 GPs in Ireland. There was much reaction to the campaign on Twitter.

Wexford GP Dr Grainne Pinaqui wrote: “Those of us that will be left can’t currently cope with the demand on our service. We have a waiting list of hundreds of private and GMS patients who want to join…”

The IMO tweeted on 12 March that FEMPI cuts had “hurt patient services”, with many GP lists closed to new patients and no new GP services being established.

On 16 March, Minister for Health Simon Harris stated that he was “committed” to developing a new multi-annual approach to GP fees.

 “This is a significant step in responding to GPs’ concerns about the effect of the fee adjustments, which were put in place under the FEMPI legislation, as part of the State’s response to the economic crisis of the last decade. I also want my Department and the HSE to engage with GPs on contractual reforms and new services, which could be provided in general practice if resourced.”

He added that he expects to brief the Cabinet in further detail at a Government meeting on 27 March. “Officials in my Department are working intensively with the Department of Public Expenditure and the HSE to prepare for the next stage of engagement on these contractual issues and I expect this to commence within a matter of weeks.”

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