A Waterford family doctor predicts that 25,000 Waterford people could be without a GP within 7 years.
Noelle Quann from Cappoquin Health Centre says young doctors are emigrating because there’s no attraction to working in General Practice in Ireland.
Of the almost 3,000 GP’s across the country just 90 are under the age of 35.
Dr Quann says almost a quarter of GP’s in Waterford are also due to retire in the not too distant future. “There’s 69 GP’s with medical card contracts in Waterford City and County at the moment. In the next five to seven years 16 of those 69 GP’s are due to retire.” She added that “with the expansion of Waterford City and County you’re looking at a huge increase in the population; not only have you these retirements figures that will leave 25,000 people without a GP, you’re also looking at an increase in population across Waterford City and County of over 57,000 people between now and 2040.”
She says a significant number of GP’s are needed in Waterford alone. “You will need at minimum 36 GP’s for that increase in population plus all the extra that are going to cover the retirements.”
Dr Quann graduated from the Waterford training scheme in 2010. She says “10 of us graduated that year, there’s only five of us left in full time general practice. In the years that followed, for example the 2013 graduating year there was 9 GP’s that graduated, there’s only two of those still in full time practice – 5 of that 9 have emigrated, they’re scattered between the UK, Australia and Canada. There’s no attraction to working in General Practice in Ireland at present, it’s a non-viable career option for young GP’s who are coming out of training.”
It gets worse.
Only 2 of 9 GP’s who graduated from the 2013 #Waterford South East GP training scheme remain in full time GP practice.
2 GP’s work half time.
5 OUT OF 9 HAVE EMIGRATED.
— Noelle Quann (@noellequann5) April 29, 2018