Two medical unions have criticised the HSE for releasing the payments made to GPs or GP practices last year, under the medical card scheme.

The figures show that the highest paid GP practice last year received over €1.1 million.

Both the Irish Medical Organisation and the National Association of GPs have criticised the release of the data, saying the figures are misleading, are not net income and that practices have a large number of staff and other costs that must be considered.

Padraig McGarry, chairman of the IMO GP Committee, said that the HSE figures were utterly misleading and implied that GPs were receiving much more income than was actually the case.

Chris Goodey, NAGP chief executive, said the release of the figures, in isolation, provided a misleading impression that this is what GPs earn.

He said that the fees fund the salaries of the GP employees, practice nurses and administration staff, the cost of premises, insurance, technology, supplies, light and heat and consumables.

It comes as the annual report of the HSE Primary Care Reimbursement Scheme for 2017 was published by the HSE.

Also, the individual, or group GP practice, or out of hours service payments, for 2017 have been released to media, including RTÉ News, under the Freedom of Information Act.