Saturday 20 January 2018

Emigrating GP: 'I would have done anything to stay in Ireland'

Dr. Paul O'Keeffe
Dr. Paul O'Keeffe
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A YOUNG GP is to quit his practice and move to the Middle East because he warned it is increasingly difficult to make a living in Ireland because of escalating healthcare cuts.

Dr Paul O'Keeffe (38), a father of three based in Cork city, is to relocate to Qatar eight years after he fulfilled his dream of opening his own practice.

The young doctor warned that the difficult financial situation in Ireland facing many doctors after years of expensive study and training is prompting dozens to head overseas.

"Being realistic I would have done anything to stay in Ireland," Dr O'Keeffe said.

"We tried everything but continuous cutbacks, all Government-related if I am to be truthful about it, just made it impossible to keep going."

The GP warned that the financial pressure has been mounting on GP practices for years without any sign of relief.

"In our case you are talking about one in five patients being a private patient. The room may look full but the rest of the patients in there are Medical Card patients who you only get a capitation fee per year for."

"The Government are just not listening to what GPs have been saying for years," he said.

"I think if the Government had a bit of vision we could have the best health system in the world in Ireland."

"We don't need to look anywhere else. But that is sadly not the case today."

Irish Independent

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