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09 November 2023
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Highest ever number of applications for GP Training programme

  • Highest ever number of applications for GP training places for 2024 Training programme.
  • 1311 applications received by closing date. 
  • 350 places will be filled on the 2024 Training programme, a record increase of 20% on last year's intake. 

The Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) is the professional body for general practice in Ireland. The ICGP is the representative organisation for education, training and standards in general practice with 4,200 members, and 1,044 trainees in supervised practice. It is responsible for training GPs on a four-year National Training programme. 

The ICGP has announced that an unprecedented number of doctors have applied for the 2024 GP Training Programme, which starts next July. The applications closed on Monday, 23 October, with a record number of 1311, compared to 968 last year. 

The National Director of GP Training, Dr Martin Rouse, said: "We are delighted with this response, which reflects the growing popularity of the speciality of general practice amongst medical graduates, and will ensure we meet the huge demand for GPs around the country in the coming years, to meet GP retirements and the growing population." 

This year, the ICGP will offer 350 training places, the highest number ever, which is a 20% increase on last year's intake. The ICGP has been steadily increasing intake in recent years, and there are now 1044 trainee GPs in the training programme, compared to 700 in 2019. 

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, welcomed the figures released today. 'I congratulate the ICGP for its success in expanding the number of training places for GPs so quickly. Increasing the number of training places will lead directly to increasing the number of GPs providing services. The future of medicine in Ireland requires a strong general practice delivering essential services to the public, and the unprecedented level of interest demonstrated in becoming a GP demonstrates that general practice will continue to be viewed as a valued and rewarding career.' 

The Chief Executive Officer of the ICGP, Fintan Foy, said "It is very encouraging that so many doctors are choosing General Practice as their career, which offers a good work-life balance with strong career prospects and great opportunities to specialise. This also reflects the increased Government funding in primary care, including Chronic Disease Management and the expansion in free GP care." 

Mr Foy added "The College is working with key stakeholders who include the HSE, DOH, Minister's Office and our internal stakeholders (Scheme Directors, Trainers, etc) to establish new training schemes and/or additional day release within existing GP training schemes. We are working closely with the HSE NDTP, using a data-driven approach to target areas of high population growth and/or areas of unmet need." 

The Chairperson of the Board of the ICGP, Dr Deirdre Collins, said: "The ICGP has responded to the urgent demand for more GPs, and we are planning new training schemes in both urban and rural Ireland to meet this demand. Applicants have recognised the high quality of our training programme, and the attraction of being able to stay in one area for the duration of their training." 


Issued by: Aileen O'Meara, Communications Consultant, Irish College of General Practitioners. Tel. 01 2542984 / 087 2239830 Email: