Ireland does not have enough doctors who are general practitioners. There is only one GP for every 1,600 people – which is far less than other countries.
To make matters worse, there are less GPs in poorer working class areas than affluent areas. In North Dublin, for example, there is only one GP for every 2,500 people.
In rural areas, there are not enough GPs to cover people who are living in areas outside middle sized towns.
Matters are set to get worse because those entering medicine often emigrate or move into more specialised areas of practice.
The problem stems from the failure of the Irish state to invest in a proper primary care service that can keep patients away from hospitals. It is also caused by an outdated model whereby doctors are supposed to set up as small businesses.
Ireland needs a sophisticated primary health care system where doctors become employees of a public health system.
That way individual doctors are not on call at every moment of the day but can share out the work of providing around-the-clock care.
Primary care systems can also provide easy access to diagnostics such as ultra-sound which help to give early detection of serious underlying conditions.
At present poor patients must wait for months for ultra sound – while those on private insurance can pay for quick access.
If there was a proper primary health care service with access to diagnostic equipment and full back up services such as psychologists or physiotherapists, there would be less people queuing up at emergency services.
That makes sense- but under the current political regime it won’t happen.
The political elite regard medicine as a profit driven activity and will not invest in a publicly run primary health care system. They encourage an ethos whereby those entering medicine are supposed to think of themselves as money makers rather than just doctors.,
We need to change all this because people lives depend on it.
Over 5,000 people die each year prematurely because of our unequal health system.
We need to change the system to save lives.
If you agree then join us in changing it. Text JOIN to 0872839964.