The Health Minister says 200 GPs have signed up to provide abortion services.

    Simon Harris says he expects more providers to come on board next week, some current ones will expand their service.

    The Minister has also stated he will be working on providing safe access zones and access to contraception.

    He expects to have announcements on next steps for both very shortly.



  • Health clinics nationwide are facing a personnel crisis due to the retirement of up to 700 GPs over the next seven years.


    The Irish Patients' Association says up to five percent of clinics could close, forcing patients to travel greater distances.


    Stephen McMahon, from the IPA, says new doctors are also being tempted away from Ireland by attractive packages abroad.

  • There were no applications for two GP practices in Swinford and Headford, when the existing GPs at both locations retired recently.  

    According to former Chair of the Irish Medical Organisation and Ballygar GP Dr Martin Daly, there will be areas in the west of Ireland left without a GP in the coming years.

    The IMO is highlighting the level of retirements anticipated over the next five to seven years county by county, and across county Mayo 41 percent, that is 2 in every 5 GPs in the county at present look set to hang up the stethoscope.

    In Leitrim up to half of the GPs at present are due to retire over that time period, in Roscommon 38 percent, 30 percent in Galway.

    The organisation has also been contacting TDs and running a social media campaign on Twitter to push its reverse FEMPI campaign.

    The IMO’s AGM is taking place in Killarney over the next four days.

  • It's shaping up to be a week of discontent in the health service.

    The Irish Nurses & Midwives have announced an escalation of their strike action.

    Week 2 of the strike will see nurses and midwives taking to the pickets again tomorrow and Thursday, from Tuesday to Thursday next week and again on the 19th and 21st February.

    The INMO is also organising a national rally next Saturday, calling for safe staffing levels in the health service through increased pay, to make the profession more attractive.

    Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadker moved to quell fears that the nurses would face financial penalties as a result of the strike.

    He said the Government was not planning on implementing pay sanctions.

    The Taoiseach said he regrets the enormous inconvenience and disruption being caused to patients who are having appointments or operations cancelled due to the strike.

    He said the Government wants to resolve the nurses dispute, but said it can only be resolved within certain parameters.

    It's expected all out-patient, in-patient and day surgery appointments will be cancelled tomorrow and Wednesday.

    Minor injury units will be closed, while routine community nursing services and health centre nurse clinics will be cancelled.

    Public day centres and day hospitals for older people and people with disabilities will also remain closed.

    Meanwhile, there may be limited access to GP services on Wednesday.

    Hundreds of doctors are taking to the streets of Dublin to march on the Dail in a demonstration over what they claim is the "complete meltdown" of the health service.

    Dr Matt O'Toole of the National Association of General Practitioners says they're calling on the Government to immediately reverse cuts that were introduced during the recession.