CARLOW and Kilkenny have one of the lowest levels in the country of GPs per head of population, according to new research by the Irish Medical Council which looks at the number of doctors who have left the register here in Ireland.
The council found that many had gone to practice in the UK, Australia and other jurisdictions. GP numbers were also examined in the report.
Kilkenny has one of the lowest ratios with only 0.61 registered GP’s in the county for every 1,000 people – the recommendation is one for 1,000 people. Carlow also fails this standard at 0.68 according to the study.
In the meantime, Carlow’s Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has said the Government’s new agreement with the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) on a major package of GP contractual reforms will benefit Carlow patients and make general practice a more attractive career option for doctors.
This agreement will encourage more doctors to go into General Practice
Deputy Deering said: “This agreement is good news for the people of Carlow and the GPs working here. This agreement will encourage more doctors to go into General Practice and will provide new funding to develop the services they provide.
“In return, GPs will agree to work on much-needed reforms including more cost-effective prescribing of medicines, waiting list validation and use of new information and communications technology systems.”
Deputy Deering said the agreement would lead to the structured care on a large scale of patients with chronic conditions in a primary care setting.
This agreement will ensure that patient are placed at the centre of the healthcare
“This agreement will see GPs engaging strongly with the eHealth agenda which will ensure that patient are placed at the centre of the healthcare delivery system and become empowered participants in the provision and pursuit of their health and wellbeing,” he said.
The free GP care scheme for children, which currently applies to children aged five and under, is to be extended to all children aged six to12.