Tipperary TD Noel Coonan has welcomed the news that commencement of a GP service without fees for children under six years is expected in June / July of this year.
Deputy Coonan said this important measure was announced by the Fine-Gael led Government in the last Budget.
“Plans are progressing and this represents the first phase in the provision of a universal GP service for the entire population. The Government is providing new additional funding of €37 million to meet the costs of this initiative,” continued Deputy Coonan.
“A consultation process started on Friday 31st January relating to the content and scope of the contract. The Department of Health held discussions with the Irish College of General Practitioners, the Irish Medical Organisation and the National Association of General Practitioners and the three organisations undertook to consider the draft contract.
“The public is invited to submit their views on the contract to the Health Service Executive on their website www.hse.ie/under6contract and closing date is February 21st.
“Currently approximately 180,000 children under 6 have access to a GP service without fees under a medical or GP visit card. It is estimated this scheme will provide a GP service to a further 240,000, bringing to 420,000 the number of children under 6 who will have access to GP services free at point of use,” concluded Deputy Coonan.