The aim of this study was to describe the distribution of GP services in Ireland with respect to deprivation. Seven percent of rural inhabitants live within walking distance of the nearest GP compared to 89% of city dwellers. The longest average travel times occur in the most deprived rural areas. The variation in travel times across deprivation scores was modest, particularly in city, town and village areas. The highest workloads were observed in the most deprived urban areas. The current distribution of GPs in Ireland is relatively equitable although the most deprived practices have high workloads or appear to be overstretched. Incentives may be required to increase service provision in these highly deprived areas.
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