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GP emigration numbers “worrying” in Ireland

4 September 2014

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Just 25% of GP trainees are planning to stay in Ireland after graduation, a new report has shown. 

Around 17% of GP graduates are already working abroad, and fewer than one in five of this group is planning to return to Ireland. 

Of those currently in Ireland, half are unsure if they will stay. And more than 12% say they will “definitely emigrate” while 25% are undecided. 

The report, from the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) states: “There is an immediate GP workforce planning concern with a worryingly low percentage of current trainees and recent graduates committed to working in Ireland, due to concerns over the viability of general practice here, and a large proportion of both trainees and recent graduates having a desire to work less than full-time in the future.” 

ICGP claims that Ireland is facing a “GP famine”. Uncertainty about the role of GPs and a lack of defined career progression have been blamed for driving emigration. 

The ICGP report surveyed more than 1,000 current GP trainees and family doctors who graduated between 2010 and 2013. 

The report echoes a recent publication from the Royal College of General Practitioners Scotland which found that rural practices are facing a recruitment crisis. 

The report said that issues recruiting staff are reaching dangerous levels.