GPs were paid nearly €549m for treating medical-card patients last year.
Up to 37 doctors received more than €500,000 each.
Details released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal 2,880 individual GPs across Ireland were paid a total of €548.6m under the medical-card scheme last year.
This includes practice-support payments they received from the HSE.
Three Dublin-based GPs got more than €900,000 each, 155 GPs got more than €400,000, and the average payment to a doctor was €190,000.
Dr Greg Kelly, a member of the Irish Medical Organisation, is defending the payments.
Dr Kelly said: "What we are talking about here is not doctors' salaries, it's the amount of money paid into the doctors' practice to run the entire practice and to pay all the staff.
"In some cases, there may be six to eight doctors working within the practice, there may be a number of nurses, plus providing the premises, whether you build it or rent it."
On top of these figures, the out-of-hours services in Ireland were paid €16.8m last year.