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Dr Murphy said that this was particularly the case given the talk of a “shift” to GP led primary care across the health sector.
“I think it is fair to say we are approaching a cliff,” the ICGP’s Chair of Communications, Dr Mark Murphy told the Medical Independent at the ICGP’s AGM.
” All healthcare policy is going towards general practice led primary care. Yet we arguably are having huge difficulties recruiting GPs into training programmes, we are having major difficulties retaining GPs.
” I think that if we are to take this direction for health policy seriously, we really have to think of recruitment and retention as a core priority for the entre health service and government,” said Dr Murphy.
“Rural communities will not be able to thrive without a GP, inner city deprived communities will not thrive without a GP. General practice is at the heart of families, community life, the health service, so we need to make sure those personal are there.
“So that will cost money and it is going to take a lot of work with the ICGP and we are up for the task.”
Dr Murphy added that the need to focus on recruitment and retention would have to be “a cornerstone of future healthcare policy” and also form part of the GP contract talks.