The IMO has warned that GPs will not be able to cope with Government plans to extend free GP care to patients, regardless of income, with long-term illness.

The Chair of the Irish Medical Organisation GP Committee, Dr Ray Walley, said it could be free care for an extra 200,000-250,000 people.

He said, however, there are no Government figures on this.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Dr Walley said there are 57,000 diabetics with long-term illness cards and other people with chronic illness.

He said the move was done without discussion and that the IMO is looking for negotiation.

Dr Walley said they need to have a plan in place to accommodate the move.

He said GPs had accommodated cuts in the last few years as much as they could, but that they cannot accommodate any further cuts.