A Clare TD who is not standing for re-election in order to focus on his GP practice has said he found his four years in the Dáil frustrating.
Dr Michael Harty has announced he will not seek to be returned to Leinster House as he cannot find a locum doctor to work at his practice in Kilmihil, Co Clare.
Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, Dr Harty, who campaigned under the 'No Doctor No Village' slogan, said that he could not abandon his practice and so had to make the "difficult decision" not to seek re-election.
He said he had promised his patients he would not abandon general practice, and could not campaign in the upcoming election knowing he would have to do so if re-elected.
Dr Harty said he feels Sláintecare provides a long-term vision for the health service and, if implemented, can reform the service.
However, he said he found it frustrating that Minister for Health Simon Harris was unwilling to engage with frontline medical staff.
He said that he had "great hopes" for Mr Harris when he was appointed to the ministry, but was "shocked" at his failure to engage with doctors, nurses and health professionals.
Dr Harty also said he found it very difficult to get to meet Mr Harris himself, as well as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and when he did meet Mr Harris he got very little response.
"I don't say I had all the answers but felt I had something to offer," Dr Harty said.
The west Clare GP added that he feels there is "room in Clare for an independent voice" at the upcoming election.