The Taoiseach says artificial intelligence could make GP shortages "not being as big a problem" in the future.
Leo Varadkar was speaking about the possible benefits and consequences of artificial intelligence, and he believes the pros outweigh the cons.
The Irish College of General Practitioners last week said there is a chronic shortage of doctors.
Its Medical Director said last week that Ireland has just over 4000 GPs but needs a total of 6000 GPs.
But, speaking to the 'Leading' podcast with Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart in the UK, Leo Varadkar suggested it may get solved by AI in the next decade:
" And it's already picking up patterns and markers that we didn't know existed before.
Just because it's so smart and, you know, I think you're not that far away from people being able to have medical consultations with, with avatars.
"You know, it's extraordinary if you think about it in terms of the practical applications that are possible from AI.
And we may see the doctor shortage not being as big a problem in, in five or 10 years' time, as it is now."