Local TD and Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald has welcomed the announcement that agreement has been reached on terms for the delivery of free GP care for all children aged under 6.
Speaking about the announcement Fitzgerald stated, “This summer will see the commencement of free GP-care for under 6’s thanks to an agreement reached this week between the Department of Health, the HSE and the Irish Medical Organisation. This agreement represents the first step in the phased introduction of a universal GP service, without fees, and follows the recent agreement on free GP care for over-70s. Both will make a real difference to the lives of the youngest and oldest in our society and delivers on the Government’s promise of enhancing primary care.
“As former Minister for Children and Youth Affairs I firmly believe in the need for early childcare services. The old adage that prevention is better than cure rings true for both our children and our health service. Removing the cost barrier and allowing all children free access to a GP means earlier diagnoses, which is good for children and will also make our health service more economical in the long term.
“The new arrangements will allow all children under 6 to benefit from the new enhanced service under the proposed GP contract. This will involve age-based preventive checks focused on health and well-being and the prevention of disease. The new system also includes an agreed cycle of care for asthma, under which GPs will carry out an annual review of each child where the doctor has diagnosed asthma.
“Adults of all ages will also 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.
“Families all over Clondalkin, Lucan, Palmerstown, Rathcoole, Saggart and Newcastle are set to benefit from this new plan which marks the first two phases of the roll-out of universal GP care.”