Many rural communities are facing the possibility of a future without a GP.
The Irish College of General Practitioners has said there is a high number of vacancies in general practice countrywide, with 18 positions currently vacant, some for up to three years.
It is warning the impact of longterm under-investment is threatening the future viability of general practice.
There are just over 2,700 GPs practising nationwide, one third of whom are over 55.
Medical director of the Irish College of General Practioners Margaret O'Riordan said incentives were needed to encourage young doctors to set up in rural areas.