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Parents take children to A&E instead of local GPs

A LACK of GPs in Dublin's north inner city is putting pressure on A&E services in the nearby children's hospital.

A study of children attending the A&E department of Temple Street Hospital has found that the majority did not need to go to hospital and could have been treated by a GP.

However, of the 181 patients surveyed over a two-week period, 133 had not tried to contact a GP beforehand.

Dr Robert Marsh, the GP who conducted the study, said the emergency department was being used as an "overflow for general practice".

"This reflects the lack of GPs in the north Dublin inner city area," he wrote in the professional journal 'Forum'.

A patient without a referral letter must pay a fee of €100 when they attend A&E, but it is free for medical card holders.

Irish Independent