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08 Aug 2022

Varadkar says Government is committed to recruiting more GPs for Kildare

GP

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Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said the Government is committed to recruiting more GPs for areas like Kildare.

The TD was responding to Kildare TD Reada Cronin who said some famillies in North Kildare cannot access a GP.

The Sinn Fein deputy said:"I have constituents who are young families and single people who have moved to north Kildare and they cannot access a GP. Some of them are "young mothers who cannot get vaccinations for their children or babies.

Within 5 km of where I live, five GPs have recently retired. I have submitted parliamentary questions on this, but the replies tell me that GPs are a private matter and not the job of the Government.
However, in the programme for Government, the Government promised to deliver care in the community and to strengthen general practice. The market seems unable to look after this.

With waiting lists so long and emergency departments so busy, GPs are the Holy Grail at the moment in primary healthcare. What is the Government doing to address this?

Mr Varadkar admitted that there are parts of the country where people are struggling to find a GP because of retirements and other issues.

He added: "The Government response is twofold. First, we are training more GPs than we have ever done before and second, we are allowing work permits and visas for GPs from other parts of the world who want to work and practice here. We are also giving consideration to introducing salaried GPs. That has not been done yet but it is under consideration. It could perhaps be done in more rural and remote parts of the country where someone would receive a salaried position from the HSE rather than being a sole trader, which is the current model. That model works very well in most of the country but does not always work well everywhere."

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