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“General Practice is at crisis point. The latest figures from the Irish Medical Council state that there are 63.1 GPs per 100,000 population, falling well below international standards of 80 GPs per 100,000,” said Dr Emmet Kerin, NAGP President.
“We also know that 915 GPs are set to emigrate or retire in the next five years. In the context of the current critical shortage of GPs in this country, this should be setting off alarm bells with the HSE and Department of Health.
“Patients will face increasing waiting times for a consultation with their GP with potentially catastrophic outcomes for their care. Negotiations on a new GMS contract must start urgently to address the untenable position in which General Practice finds itself”.
The NAGP said it believes that, where possible, patients should be kept in their communities and out of hospital.
“The HSE must begin to view the resourcing of GP-led Primary Care as an investment, improving patient care with the benefit of reducing costs in Secondary Care,” said Dr Kerin.
The NAGP has previously called for a reversal of the FEMPI cuts introduced in 2011 and 2013.