Statement: Ministers welcome Agreement with IMO on Free GP Care for Under-6s

Agreement between the Department of Health, the HSE and the Irish Medical Organisation on terms for the delivery of free GP care for all children aged under 6.

“This agreement represents the first step in the phased introduction of a universal GP service without fees. The commencement of this service this summer will make a real difference to the lives of the youngest in our society. This new contract will also mark a shift towards promoting
health and well being and away from the old “illness model”. It underlines the Government’s commitment to enhancing primary care and keeping people well in the community” said Minister Lynch.

Minister Varadkar said: “This agreement is a major step forward in improving access, quality and affordability of health care in Ireland. It also marks the most tangible step forward so far along the road to universal health care.

Up to 300,000 children and senior citizens who currently have to pay to see their GP will no longer have to. This will mean real savings for pensioners and families. But it is about much more than that. The new enhanced service covers all children under six including those who have medical cards already. They will benefit from management of asthma in general practice and preventative wellness checks. Adults of all ages will benefit from the new diabetes programme, meaning they will have their condition managed by the GP who knows them, rather than in the hospital clinic.

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