The retirement of a Kildare Town GP has further increased pressure on GP services in the town according to a Kildare South TD.
According to Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin her office in Kildare Town has been contacted by patients of a retiring GP who have been told to travel to Monasterevin until a new GP is found.
“These constituents who are in their 70’s, have been unable to enrol with another GP in the area due to full surgery lists in those practices.," she said. "I have also been informed of long waiting times to access appointments so clearly there is a capacity issue for GP practices in the town.”
She added that Kildare is in the lowest 20% nationally for the number of GP’s per head of population and the retirement of a Kildare Town GP has exacerbated the situation there.
“Fifteen percent of GP’s in Kildare are set to retire in the next 10 years and succession planning cannot take place due to the fact that there is no established feeder scheme into the county.”
The Programme for Partnership Government committed to increasing the number of GP training places to 259 places annually.
In July 2016, the GP training intake increased from 157 to 172 places and the HSE's 2017 National Service Plan envisages a further increase, to 187 places this year.
“I have made enquiries with the HSE regarding the provision of a new GP in Kildare Town as I am conscious that elderly and unwell constituents may not be in a position to travel to Monasterevin for medical appointments. Plans must be put in place in order to ensure that the future manpower needs of general practice can be met.”
The HSE has yet to comment to the Leader on the issue.