Shortage of GPs in Ireland highlighted by the National Association

Ireland scores poorly compared to the international best practice levels

The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) has highlighted the shortage of GPs in Ireland and claims the numbers are at crisis level. 

The Irish Medical Council’s Medical Workforce Intelligence Report, published yesterday, states that there are 63.1 GPs per 100,000 population practicing medicine in Ireland. This figure falls well below international best practice of 80 per 100,000 population.

Furthermore, only 74.2% of those registered with the Council practice full time, with 915 planning to emigrate or retire in the next 3-5 years.  

Dr. Andy Jordan, NAGP Chairman, said, “We are training our GPs for export and relying heavily on internationally trained GPs to fill the gap. We must create an attractive work environment to retain our highly skilled GP trainees. We are not training enough GPs to address the current shortfall which is predicted to almost double in coming years”.

General practice delivers 22 million consultations every year, projected to increase to 33 million within five years.

A LHM Casey McGrath report commissioned by the NAGP in 2015 estimates that 2,954 GPs are currently working in Ireland but to meet the increasing demand, 4,264 GPs would be needed by 2021.

Dr. Jordan commented, “It’s clear from the projections outlined in the LHM Casey McGrath report that we need to, not only start retaining the GPs that we are training, but we urgently need to start training more to address the increasing shortfall”.