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Ireland: More GPs from outside the EU…..

In order to address the lack of family doctors, more GPs from outside the EU, particularly from South Africa, will be invited to work here.
A training scheme for non-EU GPs will be expanded by 400% by the end of next year, from 50 to 250 places.

The policy is part of a package launched by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly in response to rising concern over people’s inability to get on the waiting list for a GP surgery. He also stated that by 2024, the number of GP training places in Ireland will have increased by one-third. This will result in an increase in intake from 258 in 2022 to 350 in 2024.

The overall number of trainees enrolled in the four-year programme will increase by 45 percent, from 932 now to 1,300 in 2026.

He stated that the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) had accepted 258 new doctors into its 2022–2023 specialised training programme. Currently, 932 trainees are enrolled in the four-year programme.

The number of GP training places will increase to 285 in July, then to 350 in July 2024, with a total of 1,300 trainees participating in the programme.

“I am committed to increasing our medical workforce,” he continued. We must make future plans. This is a really encouraging move since it provides additional training spaces for doctors wishing to specialise as General Practitioners, which is great news for patients.”

“The rapid expansion of GP training places builds on the work of recent years,” said HSE Chief Executive Bernard Gloster. This most welcome outcome is the single most significant improvement for the future resourcing of one of the most critical components of people’s health care. We shall seize every opportunity to support the expansion of general practise throughout the country.”

The HSE and ICGP-developed plan for non-EU doctors to train as GPs is having an immediate impact via improved capacity in general practise, with an intake of 100 doctors expected by the end of this year and a further intake of 250 by the end of 2024, he added.

“These are highly experienced and skilled general practitioners from around the world who participate in a two-year programme that combines frontline GP work with mentoring and training at designated practises.”

“Increasing the number of GP training places to an all-time high of 350, combined with significant progress in our non-EU programme, will assist us in strengthening our primary care services and increasing our vital GP workforce now and in the future.”

Fintan Foy, Chief Executive of the Irish College of General Practitioners, commented on the development, saying, “We welcome the Minister’s plans to increase the number of general practise training places.” The general practise workforce and workload issue is harming patients who must wait longer to see their GP, as well as thousands of people who are unable to register with a GP practise. We need more GPs, and this increase in training slots is an important step towards allowing more doctors to become GPs in Ireland.”

“We recognise and thank the Minister and the HSE for their assistance with our non-EU Rural Doctors programme.” This is a fantastic idea to ensure that rural areas continue to receive high-quality GP services.

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