Free GP care for children under 6 an under important first step towards free GP care for all – DEERING

15th October, 2013


Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering has today (Tuesday) welcomed the announcement in Budget 2014 of free GP care for all children aged under six, which is a significant first step towards free GP care for all. This measure is a key objective of the Government and will lift the financial burden for the thousands of young families in Carlow and around the country.

“Today’s announcement of free GP care for children aged five and under as part of today’s Budget is great news for young families across the country. With GP fees averaging approximately €50 a visit, today’s announcement will lift this financial burden for young families around Carlow. You never know when your child will get sick and this can have a big impact on a family’s monthly budget, especially if medication is required on top of the GP’s fee.

“This measure is separate to the current wider medical card system, with extra funds being provided by the

Government to the Department of Health. This specifically aims at taking the first step on the way to free GP care for all. It has not been secured by making savings elsewhere in the health service.

“In providing free GP care to children under six, it will ensure that they get the necessary medical treatment from their GP, which will enhance the likelihood of children going to the doctor early, rather than going late to the hospital. This will relieve pressure on hospitals and contribute to better health overall.

“Free GP care for children aged five and under is the first step towards providing free GP care to each and every person in the country, ending the existing two tier system. We are determined to revolutionise the crumbling health service we inherited on coming to office two years ago and transform it into one of the best health care systems in the world. While this won’t happen overnight, Minister Reilly is making great strides towards fixing the many problems in the health service.”