35% increase in GP training places next year welcomed

Capacity on the Non-EU GP Training Scheme to increase from 50 to 250 by the end of 2024 – a 400% increase

Confirmation from Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly of a significant increase in the number of GP training places has been welcomed locally.

The GP training scheme, which is run by the Irish College of General Practitioners, accepted 258 new doctors onto its 2022/2023 specialist training programme.

At present there are 932 trainees undertaking the 4 year-programme.

The number of GP training places will rise to 285 this coming July, before increasing to 350 in July 2024 which will see 1,300 trainees undertaking the programme.

Welcoming this increase, Fianna Fáil TD, Brendan Smith, said: "Fianna Fáil in Government is committed to increasing our medical workforce and this approach is a positive step as it offers more training places to doctors who want to specialise as General Practitioners.

"I was also pleased to hear of the significant planned increase in the number of doctors participating in the successful non-EU GP Training Programme, which aims to identify, support and integrate a cohort of non-EU GPs into the rural Irish workforce. This programme has had an immediate impact on GP shortages and a number are already working in general practices around the country, with an intake of 100 doctors expected by the end of this year, and a further intake of 250 by the end of 2024.

“These are highly experienced and skilled GPs from around the world, who take part in a two-year programme combining frontline GP work with mentoring and training at designated practices.''

Deputy Smith concluded by saying, “Expanding the number of GP training places to an all-time high of 350, coupled with the great strides being made in our Non-EU Programme, further demonstrates Fianna Fáil's commitment in Government to strengthen our primary care services and increase our vital General Practice workforce.”