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GPs could be offered incentives to open in rural areas

GP practices in larger towns could soon be offered financial incentives to establish satellite surgeries in smaller rural areas.

Government Chief Whip Hildegarde Naughton said the initiative is currently being developed by the HSE.

The move comes as the Dáil heard that two thirds of overstretched GPs in rural Ireland are not able to take on new patients.

In many areas there is is also a two week wait to see a GP for non-emergency cases, TDs said.

The Dáil is debating a motion on healthcare provision in rural communities which has been tabled by the Rural Independent Group (RIG).

The RIG wants an inter-departmental group established to quickly find ways of improving GP services across the country.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath said that rural GPs are constantly being overworkered.

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