Cork Kerry Community Healthcare (CKCH) has confirmed it currently has a recruitment initiative underway for GPs in rural areas in Cork, including Bantry and Skibbereen, amid the current demand for GP services.
The recruitment initiative is part of HSE measures to enable GPs to extend existing clinics or run additional clinics with Special Type Consultations (STCs) supports and grants towards operational costs.
A spokesperson for CKCH said it is recognised that not all practices will be in a position to undertake the additional hours and that it is further acknowledged that there is a requirement to protect GP time in terms of their commitment to out-of-hours services, which will continue to operate during these hours.
CKCH has also joined forces with the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) for a Non-EU Rural GP Programme that aims to identify, support and integrate a cohort of non-EU GPs into the rural Irish GP workforce.
The role of the Non-EU Rural GP Programme is to identify and recruit suitable non-EU GPs in accordance with the programme criteria for rural GP practices, to facilitate supported and supervised practice, to assist the Non-EU GP to undertake the ICGP (MICGP) exam leading to Specialist Registration with the Irish Medical Council, and to encourage the retention of the Non-EU rural GP in Irish general practice.
The project is ongoing, with a number of GP practices in CKCH participating, having applied to do so, in the areas identified as requiring this programme.
In addition, the HSE has said it will provide funding to the current grant-funded Co-ops to enable them to roster additional doctors in out-of-hours treatment centres between the hours of 6pm and 10pm.
the spokesperson said.