Deputy Mattie McGrath
Independent TD Mattie McGrath challenged the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, on Tuesday to clarify the steps he is taking to address what he describes as 'the ongoing crisis in rural GP Practices'.
Deputy McGrath was speaking ahead of a Dáil debate that he requested on foot of a report that shows 666 GPs are currently over the age of 60, including 244 over 65:
“I have been warning the Minister, and his predecessor, Taoiseach Varadkar, about the impending crisis in rural GP Practice for the last number of years.
We are now even closer to the cliff edge, where the viability of GP services in significant areas of the country are at stake.
“Cavan, Clare, Dublin, Kerry, Offaly, Tipperary, Cork and Wexford all stand to lose at least 25pc of GPs in the next 7 years”.
That is a crisis by any definition of the term.
One frustrating aspect of this saga is that the government could immediately address some of the burnout issues that are confronting a significant number of GP’s by reviewing the implementation of the Free-Under 6 GP Scheme.