According to the website GPBuddy.ie, there are around 154 vacancies for a variety of positions including permanent, temporary, locum and GMS GP roles.
GPs say the figure has consistently been above 150 on the site every month for at least the last year and has been as high as 162.
The site recently listed 65 permanent GP positions, 81 short-term positions and six vacant GMS positions.
The ICGP website icgp.ie, another popular location for advertisements for GP vacancies, recently listed 140 vacant positions in primary care, including GP and practice nurse positions. The <em><strong>Medical Independent (MI)</strong></em> also regularly features ads for GP positions.
According to the HSE, there are 26 vacant GMS panels nationally.
The extent of GP vacancies nationally is causing increasing concern and some GPs are unable to secure locums to take holiday leave.
Meanwhile, the NHS in England plans to recruit 2,000 GPs by 2020 and is actively targeting Irish GPs as part of its recruitment campaign.
The campaign aims to recruit hundreds of GPs from the EU and further afield to help boost falling GP numbers in England.
According to media reports, the NHS has lost 1,000 full-time GPs in the past year due to increased workload and funding problems.
Cork GP Dr Nick Flynn recently received correspondence regarding the recruitment drive and expressed concern on social media about its impact on Irish general practice.
In a tweet, Dr Flynn warned: “We will lose GP trainees and established GPs to this initiative. This will impair our ability to recruit GPs internationally.”
He added: “Irrespective of Brexit this recruitment drive will hurt Irish general practice and Irish patients.”
Dr Flynn stated that FEMPI cuts had rendered general practice unviable, while the HSE and Department of Health showed “no respect for GPs”.
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