Sunday 22 October 2017

Shortage of trainee GPs adds to fears over 'crisis'

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The training scheme for GPs has been unable to fill all its places this year - sparking more fears about a shortage of family doctors.

The Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) confirmed 10 of the 186 places could not be filled.

Two of the trainees in the Kerry scheme are from non-EU countries, while three places are unfilled in Galway.

A spokesperson for the ICGP said: "The ICGP is not surprised at this, as there has been a huge expansion in the training scheme in recent years.

"In 2009, there were 120 places available in the GP training scheme; in 2017, there are 186 places available. This is an increase of 65pc in seven years, the result of the college's response to the manpower crisis in general practice, as stated in the Programme for Government."

The "manpower crisis" needs to be addressed not only in terms of recruitment, but also the retention of existing trained doctors. GPs have warned they are unable to cope with the extent of demands for services from patients in many areas as doctors continue to emigrate.

Irish Independent

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