background image
Representing a new
generation of Irish GPs
MAY 2018
Rural Life
MAY 2018
Rural Life
Outgoing president of the NAGP, Dr Emmet Kerin, passing on
the chain of o ice to Dr Maitiú O Tuathail.
With up to 50 per cent of GPs expected to
retire in the coming years, parts of rural Ireland
may be left without their local and trusted
Irish Farmers Monthly speaks to 29-year-
old Dr Maitiú O Tuathail, from Co. Galway,
recently appointed president of the National
Association of General Practitioners, about the
challenges facing general practice in Ireland
today and finding solutions to ensure there
are su cient numbers of young GPs to keep
general practice alive and well across Ireland
Just two years ago, Dr O Tuathail joined the National
Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) Council as
its GP trainee representative. Speaking at the recent NAGP
AGM, Dr O Tuathail said that journey commenced out of
`sheer frustration'.
"Within several days of starting work as a general practice
registrar in Ashbourne, Co. Meath, I quickly learnt that it
would take me a month to get a chest x-ray report, that I
was denied access to basic scans, and that many bloods in
our local hospital were `consultant-only'.
"We had little functioning support from allied healthcare
professionals. I started off by writing harshly worded
letters to the hospital CEO, but within days, my trainer
at the time, Dr Stephen Murphy, quoted Muhammad Ali,
when he said to me: "The man who has no imagination has
no wings." This was his way of saying, stop moaning and do
something about it. With just a few months left before his
GP qualification is complete in July, Dr O Tuathail is ready
to do something!
IFM: Congratulations on your recent appointment.
How do you feel about taking on this role?
MOT: I am hugely humbled and honoured to have been
selected as president of the NAGP. It hasn't fully sunk
in yet, but I am incredibly thankful to the NAGP for
having given me this opportunity. I feel a huge sense of
responsibility now to represent our members and general
practice as best I can.
IFM: Why did you want to take on this role?
MOT: I am from rural Ireland, and the plan ­ long-term ­ is
to return home, to Leitirmóir in Galway and be the rural
GP there. I have always wanted that. But the conversations
IFM_May_2018.indd 92
02/05/2018 07:38