Too many sorrys: GPs to hold mass protest outside Dáil; some surgeries will close for the day

Too many sorrys: GPs to hold mass protest outside Dáil; some surgeries will close for the day

Hundreds of the country's doctors are to hold a national day of protest outside the Dáil, meaning many GP practices will be closed to patients on that day, or will have only limited services.

The protest is planned for Wednesday, February 6.

In serving notice of the planned protest, the National Association of GPs said its member doctors were "tired of having to say sorry to patients" and that the family doctor service has in some areas "completely collapsed".

As examples of conversations their members have had to have with patients, they gave these:

“Sorry we can’t give you a same-day appointment.”

“Sorry our nurse is only here part-time.”

“Sorry I can only give you a few minutes per consultation.”

“Sorry, you have to wait four years for your hip replacement.”

“Sorry, you have to wait two years for an outpatient appointment.”

“Sorry, you have to wait five years for your cataract surgery.”

“Sorry, you are unable to access physiotherapy, psychology, podiatry and all the other ancillary services that make a health system work efficiently and safely."

“Sorry, your relative died on a waiting list before their appointment came around.”

Breaking point

In a statement, the association said: "We have not chosen this decision (to hold the protest) lightly but it is vital for us to make the Government and others fully aware that our health system is in crisis and has been so for years. This is despite that fact that we have one of the most expensive health systems in the world.

"Evidence from around the world confirms that community-based health systems, like the family doctor system, are the most efficient, safe and effective. Years of successive cuts in Government funding for general practice have created an inefficient unstructured health system which is collapsing."

They said promised extra investment had not materialised, including the Government's reversal of the 38% cuts imposed over past years, that many doctors can take on no new patients and that the medical card system can no longer cope. They added that not enough new doctors are being appointed and many are having to retire early, due to burnout.

In sum, they say:

GPs are at, and many have passed, breaking point.

More in this Section

Farmers risk causing ‘irreversible damage’Farmers risk causing ‘irreversible damage’

Family turn up at antiques gig with Ming masterpieceFamily turn up at antiques gig with Ming masterpiece

Harris quizzed on controversial Garda revampHarris quizzed on controversial Garda revamp

Irish Rail urged to alter prices amid fares scrutinyIrish Rail urged to alter prices amid fares scrutiny


Kya deLongchamps meets the man who is opening a new chapter on his native FermoyVintage View: Opening a new chapter on Fermoy's story

More From The Irish Examiner