Crisis pending as Limerick family doctors face retirement

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The GP crisis in Limerick could escalate in four years through retirements

 

UP TO a quarter of the 46 family doctors practicing in Limerick are due to retire within the next four years and leave a gaping hole in frontline medical care.

That’s according to Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins who told the Dáil that Government was sleepwalking into a health crisis.

He said that a crisis in frontline medical care was pending and nothing was being done to address it.

“The country is sleepwalking into a crisis in terms of the provision of frontline community medical care through our GPs by virtue of the fact that of the 2,400 that we have working around the country, ten per cent of them are due to retire in the next two years, 30 per cent of them in the next seven years”, Deputy Collins said.

Referring specifically to Limerick, Deputy Collins revealed that almost a quarter of the 46 GPs were due to retire in the next four years.

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“So we are sleep walking to the edge of a cliff where many parts of the country will not a have a GP to provide care within the community in just a few years.

“The issues in relation to the provision of primary care centres or the reversal of the FEMPI cuts to the GPs are money issues”.

Addressing the Government benches, he asked: “What are ye doing in terms of trying to retain GPs within our country and indeed ramp the numbers to replace the people who are retiring?”.

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