For Oral Answer on : 15/02/2022
Question Number(s): 185 Question Reference(s): 7721/22
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Health the measures being taken by his Department to support the increased numbers of general practitioners for training and setting up practices; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
GPs are private contractors, most of whom hold contracts with the HSE for the provision of medical services such as contracts under the General Medical Services (GMS) Scheme for the provision of medical services without charge to patients who hold a medical card or GP visit card. In addition to direct remuneration for medical services provided under the GMS contract, the contract provides a range of GP practice supports including practice staff supports and supports for rural practices and for those working in disadvantaged urban areas.
The number of entrants to GP training has increased from 120 in 2009 to 233 in 2021, with large increases made in recent years. Further increases are expected as responsibility for training has transferred from the HSE to the Irish College of General Practitioners.
As GPs are self-employed practitioners, they therefore may establish practices at a place of their own choosing.
The 2019 GP Agreement includes a commitment to undertake a strategic review of GP services within the lifetime of the Agreement, to examine how best to ensure the provision of GP services in Ireland for the future, including ensuring the sustainability of the business model for practices. The outcome of this review will inform future contractual changes.