“In the last two weeks, there has been a 63% increase in the number of GPs signing up to take part in the new Free GP Service and there is still time for other doctors to take part. In the Dublin West region, 71% of GPs have already committed to take part, meaning that children under six and those over 70 will be able to avail of free GP care from 1st July.
“From Monday 15th June, parents will be able to register their children and senior citizens over 70 who currently have to pay for GP care, can also sign up meaning that this summer up to 300,000 children and senior citizens will no longer have to pay.
“Free GP care was a key Fine Gael election commitment and it will result in real savings for pensioners and for families. It is important that we change the health system from one that only treats sick people to one that keeps people well; providing free access to GP care will make a significant difference in achieving this goal.
“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.
“With 71% of doctors in Dublin West signing up to provide the service, this is a very good start. I know many families of young children and older people are very pleased that this service will be available. I would encourage parents across Lucan, Clondalkin, Palmerstown, Rathcoole, Saggart and Newcastle with children under 6 to sign up from next week.”