GP candidate received €230k in State payments
A doctor who is running for election as part of a campaign to help secure more GPs for rural Ireland received €230,000 in State payments last year.
Dr Michael Harty, a candidate in Clare, said the figure might sound like income to voters but it mostly goes on staff and overheads.
"The problem is that once you pay staff and expenses you are not left with a lot as an established GP, never mind a young GP who would have start-up costs," he said.
Under the General Medical Services contract, participating GPs receive a range of fees and allowances in respect of each medical card and GP-visit card patient on their list.
Official figures show that Dr Harty, who has had a practice in Kilmihil for 32 years, received almost €270,000 in 2013 but this has dropped by €40,000 in the past two years.
"I am one of the 176 practices that still gets the rural GP allowance to the value of €30-45,000 a year.
"Without it I'd be gone in the morning," he said.