Sligo conference hears of ‘crisis’ in GP service

A doctors’ conference in Sligo has heard that financial cuts introduced eight years ago to deal with the financial emergency have caused the complete demise of General Practice.

Dr Jerry Cowley, a former Independent TD, says urgent intervention is now needed to prevent the total collapse of the GP service.

He was speaking after the annual conference in Sligo of the Rural, Island and Dispensing Doctors of Ireland, attended by more than 90 GPs from across the country.

The attendance included rural GPs from the Irish Medical Organisation, the National Association of General Practitioners and the Irish College of General Practitioners.

Dr Cowley has called on the three organisations to work together to reverse the emergency cuts.

Delegates to the conference say the cuts have resulted in a 38% drop in funding to general practice at a time when those with medical and GP cards have increased to almost half the population.

Dr Cowley says the increased workload coupled with the reduction in funding has created a ‘crisis in General Practice.’

He says it’s all making general practice unattractive to young doctors.