GPs in Galway are refusing to take new patients because they’re overworked.
A number of general practitioner clinics throughout the county have stopped registering new patients, and many more GPs have waiting lists for new patients.
The situation here is replicated right across the country, according to the Irish Medical Organisation.
Dr Martin Daly, a past president of IMO, said he ceased taking on new patients at his general practice at Ballygar.
“It’s with a heavy heart that we do it . . . it is the first time in 50 years that we have had to do it,” he said.
GPs are unable to register new patients due to an increase in demand on their services and a shortage of young, new doctors.
“General practitioners who used to cope have given up trying to cope. They’re concentrating on looking after their existing patients, they’re not taking on any new patients or new work until such time as this impasse is addressed. There is no confidence in the general practitioner community that the State is taking this seriously,” Dr Daly said.
National surveys in recent weeks have found that 60% of GPs are unable to register new patients.
“What you are finding is that sons and daughters from one part of Galway who move to another area in Galway cannot register with the GP in that area,” he said.
“The experience of general practitioners throughout the country, in both rural and urban areas, is they are unable to attract young GPs and they are unable to retain GPs. We can only see so many patients in one day. It’s about protecting the patient and maintaining the high quality of service to the existing patients. GPs are also protecting themselves from burnout. What’s happening is GPs are getting older and they cannot attract young GPs and they cannot retain them,” added Dr Daly.
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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