No out-of-hours service four times in six weeks over shortage of GPs
Published 08/07/2015 | 02:30
An out-of-hours doctor service said it has had to close overnight because of a shortage of GPs.
North East Doctor on Call (NEDOC), which provides overnight and weekend GP services for counties Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan, was forced to close its base in Meath four times in the past six weeks.
Arlene Fitzsimons, operations manager with NEDOC, said: "Doctors, both newly qualified and those working years in general practice, are choosing to leave Ireland for better working conditions abroad. The fact that overnight sessions in NEDOC are not being filled is indicative of the crisis general practice is in now."
Ms Fitzsimons, who was writing in response to a query from Sinn Féin TD for Meath West Peadar Tóibín, said there were also not enough qualified locums to provide cover.
She said many doctors were now so busy with their practice during the day, they could not take time off to work overnight.