Investment in primary care will lead to better patient outcomes and fewer hospital admissions, according to the author of a report on primary care in the healthcare system.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Professor Tom O'Dowd of Trinity College said the private side of general practice had suffered from bad investment.

He explained that there were few GPs working solely in private practice.

The report, which surveyed patients and trainee GPs and compared Ireland to other countries, was published this morning.

It found that Ireland's GP training system was a good one and that most trainee GPs see their future in Ireland.

However, they do not see themselves joining the current system, which has a bad name and is perceived as being underfunded.

They want to work in practices with a team, they do not want to be a single handed practitioner, as was traditionally the case in the past.

Prof O'Dowd said a universal health system was financially realisable, but said the greater issue was whether GPs wanted it.

Meanwhile, Dr Fergal Hickey of the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine said 400 more consultants were needed in Irish hospitals.

Speaking on the same programme, he said hospital waiting lists are getting longer because of the shortfall.

He said many doctors were going abroad and finding that working conditions were far more attractive than they are in Ireland.