GPs have reacted angrily to suggestions that the money owed to them in past pay cuts by the Government is much less than they have calculated.

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has put the figure at €160m due back, which they say amounted to a 38% cut under the FEMPI measures.

A Department of Health briefing document puts the overall cuts much lower at under 25%.

At the annual IMO conference in Killarney, many doctors have reacted to the controversy on social media.

In a post now deleted from Twitter, former IMO President Dr John Duddy said that arguing over a 25% versus a 38% cut was "like arguing over Stage 3 versus Stage 4 cancer".

He said the prognosis is still bad and accused the Government of spin and not dealing with the main issue, the GP crisis, caused by the fee cuts.

The IMO has called for 7,000 extra hospital beds to be provided.

It said the Government plan to have 2,500 more beds by around 2030 was insufficient to meet the health service needs.

Speaking at the conference, the IMO's new President Dr Peadar Gilligan said Ireland cannot afford to lose the next five years preparing for a target of additional beds which is simply too low.