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Ireland could lose a third of all GPs by 2020

A THIRD of GPs believe they are likely to have left the profession within five years, a new survey has revealed.

The loss of up to 1,000 GPs from the system would pose a major manpower crisis for the health system.

There are around 2,900 GPs working here, and 751 took part in the survey prepared by Gorilla Survey.

Just 117 (16pc) of the respondents said that the would advise their children to enter general practice.

The survey showed that 356 of GPs (47pc) said their practices are currently in debt.

When it came to house calls, 297 GPs (39pc) said their practice did between three and six house calls per week.

Dublin GP Dr Andrew Jordan said that the results reflect the difficulties that GPs are experiencing.

"There are many positives to being a GP. It is the only specialty where you get to care for the whole person throughout their entire lives. But unfortunately, delivering that care has become a real challenge," said Dr Jordan, who is the chairperson of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP).

"These results paint a very worrying future for general practice and for the wider health services," he said.

"The funding which the Government provides to GPs to deliver 24/7 365-day care to medical card patients is less than a monthly subscription to Netflix," Dr Jordan added.

DISTURBING The survey was commissioned by Newstalk and the NAGP chief Chris Goodey.

Broadcaster Pat Kenny described the survey results as disturbing, as he hosted a special programme on general practice.

"What we've been hearing anecdotally has now been backed up. The results are disturbing," Mr Kenny said.