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GPs to protest for the first time ever, but services 'won't be affected' while they're out on the streets

Just over 300 doctors are expected to attend the protest, organised by the National Association of General Practitioners.

GENERAL PRACTITIONERS FROM across Ireland will take to the streets later today to highlight the “crisis” their speciality is facing.

The demonstration is organised by the National Association of General Practitioners and will be the first of its kind in Ireland.

Just over 300 doctors are expected to attend.

The group is claiming that a lack of investment in general practice is leading to many young GPs looking abroad for work, and is putting pressure on rural services, while specific patient groups are being affected by cuts in GP care.

It added that more patients are being “forced unnecessarily into expensive secondary care”.

Speaking ahead of today’s protest, President of the NAGP, and a GP from Co Clare, Dr Conor McGee said:

“General Practice has and is being damaged every day. Newly qualified young GPs are leaving the country after being lured to Canada, Australia and New Zealand and UK instead of joining or setting up practices in Ireland.

Experienced GP principals are being actively recruited by GP training schemes in the Middle East and Far East. Rural practices have been economically drained by the drastic and untargeted FEMPI cuts to the point that rural practice is no longer viable.

They are also opposed to free GP for those aged under six and over 70, claiming that it will remove vital private revenue, result in longer consultation times, and also increase the load on secondary care services.

The group also noted that “there will be no withdrawal of service by GPs during the protest and adequate medical cover will be in place for patients”.

Read: 20% of GPs who graduated in 2010 now live abroad >

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