Thursday, 2 December 2021
Department of Health
General Practitioner Services
199. To ask the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the shortage of general practitioners currently being experienced in north County Dublin; if he has plans to specifically address the increasing general practice needs for the growing population of north County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59604/21]
GPs are self-employed practitioners and therefore may establish practices at a place of their own choosing. Under the GMS scheme, the HSE contracts GPs to provide medical services without charge to medical card and GP visit card holders. Where a vacancy arises in a practice with a GMS contract, the HSE becomes actively involved in the selection process to find a replacement GP. As of November, there is one GMS vacancy in the area concerned, a locum GP is currently provided care for patients.
The Government is aware of the workforce issues currently facing general practice in certain areas and a number of measures to improve recruitment and retention in general practice have been implemented.
These measures include an increase in investment in general practice by approximately 40% (€210 million) between 2019 and 2023 under the terms of the 2019 GMS GP Agreement GP. The Agreement provides for increased support for GPs working in rural practices and for those in disadvantaged urban areas, and for improvements to maternity and paternity leave arrangements. In addition, the number of GPs entering training has been increased steadily over the past ten years, rising from 120 in 2009 to 233 in 2021, with further increases expected.
These measures will see an increase in the number of GPs working in the State, improving access to GP services for patients throughout the country.
200. To ask the Minister for Health the timeframe for the opening of Swords primary care centre; if he is giving consideration to directly employing general practitioners in this facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59605/21]