Doctors for free GP care for children 6-7 years old

Doctors expressed differing views on the Government’s decision to expand free GP care to six- and seven-year-olds as part of a broader strategy to provide universal healthcare.

The move, which will provide free family doctor care to an additional 120,000 children, is part of the €45 million package included in the budget and will lower the Drug Payment Scheme threshold from €114 to €100.

Dr. Bertie Daly from High Street Medical Center new market In north Cork, he agreed that most GPs would support measures to help families get health care, but said he was not convinced the move to expand free GP care was fully considered.

“I think most practitioners would agree that the universal health system is a good idea – universal health care for children cannot but improve children’s health. But like any other health initiative, it will only work if you support it appropriately, and at this point we will be worried.”

Dr Daly said that with the introduction of free GP care for children under the age of six in July 2015, GPs saw a huge increase in their offerings, and there are concerns that this new extension of free GP care could have a similar knock-on effect.

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