The ESRI is warning extending free GP visits to the whole population could lead to longer patient waiting times.
The economic think-tank says there may not be enough doctors to provide free GP care for all if the scheme was to be rolled out here by 2026.
The ESRI examined both the demand and cost implications of extending free GP care to the whole population, which is a key recommendation of the all-party Sláintecare plan.
It forecasts it would result in 2 million extra GP visits and would cost the State somewhere between €381 and €881 million.
One of the report's authors, ESRI Senior Research Officer Dr Sheelah Connolly, says demand would rise significantly if free GP visits were brought in.
"Even before Covid, we had a situation where there were some places in the country where people weren't able to access a GP because there was no GP available in their area.
"Given the current demands on GPs, it's not clear that there is a sufficient number of GPs currently available to meet an additional demand".