• There are 714 people on trolleys, or on wards, waiting admission to a hospital bed today but the Irish Government say they are ‘planning’ for an extra 1 million people by 2040.
  • Long term solution to trolley crisis is a new integrated community care system driven by GPs and not just more beds.
  • Dr Paul Grundy, the founding President of PCPCC (Patient Centred Primary Care Collaborative) and recognised for his development of the Patient Centred Medical Home movement in the US has said “a transformation to a GP led primary care model will make care better for patients, for Government and for all medical professionals.”
  • Hospital overcrowding will remain an annual problem unless we transform our healthcare model to a GP led Primary Care system.


Unless significant measures are taken by Government, The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) has warned of continued overcrowding in Irish hospitals. A record number of patients on trolleys were reported today, with 714 people waiting for beds or on trolleys.

Extra hospital beds is just one element, the other is supporting the transformation of the healthcare model. It is now a priority that we have integration of care, coordination of care and access to care around a GP led primary care model.

The NAGP is calling on the Government to take a proactive approach rather than being reactive in this ongoing crisis.

Dr Paul Grundy, the founding President of the Patient Centred Medical Home movement in the US and member of the Institute of Medicine, is visiting Ireland currently to meet with members of the Government. He is here to advise them on the strategy that needs to be implemented to deliver a coordinated care system rather than the episodic care that is being offered today. There is a complete system failure happening currently and the NAGP is exasperated at the lack of action being taken to drive change in primary care. Integrating the whole healthcare system to transform the upside- down model which is currently in place, is what is desperately needed.

Dr Paul Grundy today said “There are many parts of the world where similar problems have been affectively addressed with a transformation to advanced robust primary care, resulting in a 34-40% reduction in emergency room utilisation and a significant decrease in the number of patients needing hospital beds.”

The NAGP is calling on Simon Harris, the Minister for Health, to begin immediate resourcing of General Practice commencing with the immediate reversal of FEMPI.

This kind of reform will require ‘front loading’ significant money in the early years.

The €25m the Government has committed this year to develop primary care is totally insufficient and is a band-aid solution.