A local GP is to stand as a candidate in Co Clare in the forthcoming general election.

Dr Michael Harty, a GP based in Kilmihil, Co Clare with over 30 years experience, is backed by the No Doctor No Village campaign.

Rural doctors have been highlighting the problems associated with rural GP practices, where small villages cannot attract new young GPs as they do not see a future there where allowances have been cut.

There are currently 25 GP vacancies across the State, with many rural villages without a local doctor.

The lobby group No Doctor No Village has held a number of public meetings in recent months calling on the Government to restore local GP practice allowances to ensure the survival of rural practices, which they see as part of the lifeblood of small communities.

They have called on local TDs for assurances that the allowances will be restored.

The group says lack of action on these matters has led it to put forward its own candidate.

Speaking about his decision to stand, Dr Harty said while the group has been campaigning on GP issues for over a year, this campaign is about rural communities, and about a change in attitude to rural communities and to patients and people.

It is understood a number of other counties including Mayo, Galway and Leitrim are also considering putting GP candidates forward.