Only 3% of GPs say they will participate in free care to under-6s

Survey of 720 doctors investigates their attitudes to new scheme

A new survey has found that many GPs would be reluctant to take on another GP’s general medical services list in the event of a colleague retiring or leaving general practice.

A new survey has found that many GPs would be reluctant to take on another GP’s general medical services list in the event of a colleague retiring or leaving general practice.

Wed, Jan 22, 2014, 01:00

Only 3 per cent of doctors definitely intend to participate in the proposed scheme to extend free GP care to children aged under six, according to one of the largest surveys of GPs in Ireland.

The survey – conducted by Dr Aifric Boylan, a member of the National Association of General Practitioners’s executive council – surveyed 720 GPs in Ireland about their attitudes to the new scheme, conditions and pay within general practice, stress levels, and the future of general practice.

Some 13 per cent of GPs said they “definitely” would not participate in the scheme, 28 per cent said they “probably” would not participate, while 31 per cent were unsure if they would participate in the scheme “in its current form”.

Of those who said they would probably or definitely not participate in the scheme, the top factor that would be likely to change their mind would be evidence of open negotiation between the State and GPs on the scheme, with 62 per cent strongly agreeing with that proposition

The survey also showed that many GPs would be reluctant to take on another GP’s general medical services (GMS) list in the event of a colleague retiring or leaving general practice. A mere 13.4 per cent said they would be willing to take on GMS patients who no longer had a GP.