The Government is committed to the continued development of GP capacity to ensure that patients across the country continue to have access to GP services and that general practice is sustainable in all areas into the future.
Several efforts to increase the number of practising GPs have been undertaken in recent years. These include increases in the number of GP training places, which have risen from 120 places in 2009 to 202 places available in 2019.
Changes have been made to the entry provisions to the GMS scheme to accommodate more flexible/shared GMS/GP contracts, and to the retirement provisions for GPs under the GMS scheme, allowing GPs to hold GMS contracts until their 72nd birthday, as well as the introduction of an enhanced supports package for rural GP practices.
There are no plans at present to extend the retirement age for GPs beyond 72 years.