Thousands Of Kerry Children To Get Free GP Care

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Arthur Spring 1

Deputy Arthur Spring has welcomed the news that Kerry children under six will get free GP care.

THOUSANDS of Kerry children under the age of six are set to get free GP care  after an agreement was reached between the Department of Health, the HSE and the IMO.

It has been confirmed today that 6,785 children aged five and under in Kerry will be entitled to access free GP care from the end of June. Local people aged over 70 who still pay to visit their GP will also now be entitled to the free service.

However, it is a matter for each individual doctor to decide if they want to be part of the free scheme and sign up.

In a statement from the Department of Health Minister Leo 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.

“From this summer, 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.

“I want to thank the IMO for their leadership in coming to this agreement and I firmly hope all GPs sign up to this new improved and expanded primary care service,” the Minister added.

Local Labour TD Arthur J Spring welcomed news of the agreement.

“This is a major step forward that will deliver huge savings for local families and pensioners, and help promote health and well-being throughout the county,” said Deputy Spring.

“Today’s announcement means that 6785 of Kerry children aged 5 and under will now be entitled to free GP care from the summer. This figure includes those who already have medical cards.

“Local people aged over 70 who currently still have to pay to see their GP will also now be able to access the free service.

“Confirmation that an agreement has been reached by all sides is a major breakthrough which will make a massive difference to the lives of the youngest and the oldest in our local community. We expect the service to begin from the end of June,” he said.

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