Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has raised the need for a dedicated GP Training Programme for Co. Kildare.  Deputy Heydon was speaking in the Dail during Topical issues yesterday (Tuesday).

“With our growing population in Co. Kildare, confirmed by a 5.6% increase in the 2016 census I want to ensure that we are in a position to recruit and retain sufficient number of GPs to service our communities into the future.

“The latest Irish Medical Council Workforce Intelligence Report shows that Co. Kildare has only 41 GPs per 100,000 of population.  This is the 5th lowest in the Country – and well below national and international levels.

“With up to 25% of Kildare GPs due to retire in the coming decade, there is concern among local GPs whether there will be sufficient new GPs to replace them.

“Research has shown that the presence of a local and identifiable GP training programme is an effective way to retain GPs in a specific area.  We are very lucky in Co. Kildare to have about 20 GP trainers who work on specific GP training programmes.  However while these schemes get the benefit of the Kildare GP Community, Kildare itself does not always retain graduates.

“A re-organisation of GP training is proposed for 2018 when the Irish College of General Practitioners will take over from the HSE.  I want to use that opportunity to ensure that Kildare gets its own dedicated programme and I am seeking the support of the Health minister towards that aim.

“The Programme for Partnership Government emphasises the need to focus on enhancing primary healthcare services including building up GP capacity, increasing the number of therapists and other health professionals in primary care.

“In order to do this as well as investing in primary care centres we need to ensure that we can attract and retain more young doctors to work as GPs and I want to specifically ensure that Kildare has a sufficient supply”.