January 24, 2022

Worrying decline in number of GPs in rural parts of Kilkenny: TD

KILKENNY TD Bobby Aylward has called on Health Minister Simon Harris to support GPs in rural communities.

Deputy Aylward said: “Rural communities across Ireland are suffering from a deficit of GPs. This trend has worsened over time as more and more established GPs retire. In fact according to the IMO over 600 GPs are due to retire in the coming years. Kilkenny and Carlow have both seen the loss of GP’s recently, one in Thomastown and one in Carlow town.

“These practices provide crucial step-down care support to older people on discharge from St. Columba’s Hospital, Thomastown, and Sacred Heart Hospital, Carlow. Several GPs around the constituency contacted me to express their great concern that it would be very difficult to replace these doctors who are so crucial to their local communities. The doctors I have spoken to feel the recruitment and advertising methods being implemented are not effective.”

The Fianna Fáil TD (pictured below) also said the €210 million revised GP contract must provide incentives for new graduates to set up in Ireland, as opposed to traveling abroad for better pay and conditions.

He added: “We are not doing enough to incentivise young doctors to take up medical practice in this country, especially in rural areas. We cannot allow a situation to arise where rural communities across the country are left without any access to local GPs.”

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