The crippling debt which medical graduates burden must be addressed by the Government say the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP). A UCC study found that medical students who graduate with debt are less likely to become GPs. This is contributing to the current critical shortage in GPs. Graduate medical students in particular, struggle to repay loans of up to €100,000 on a basic internship salary of approximately €2,583 per month. Many of these students are forced to emigrate for higher-paid working opportunities abroad.

Mr. Chris Goodey, NAGP CEO, said, “A UCC survey of medical students, published in 2014, highlighted this issue. Government representatives made assurances that the issue would be addressed in the 2015 budget. It is difficult to identify any progress which has been made to alleviate this crisis. Graduate medical students continue to pay approximately €15,000 in fees per year and are not eligible for any state financial aid”.

The NAGP has called on the Government to take action and address the medical graduate debt crisis.

Mr. Goodey concluded, “The Government must put in place supports to reduce medical graduate debt. As long as this financial burden exists the shortage of doctors in general practice will not be addressed. We know that 915 GPs have declared their intention to retire, or emigrate, in the next 3-5 years. Action must be taken now.”