One in five family doctors are refusing to sign up to free GP care for under 6s due to “every minor snotty nose” being brought to their attention.
GP’s are claiming parents are abusing the service by bringing in children with minor complaints to see them.
In a survey seen by The Irish Independent: “Every minor snotty nose is now brought to the doctor to collect a prescription for antibiotics."
The survey of the impact of the free GP card got mostly bad feedback with doctors complaining they were too busy and now had “less time with sick patients”.
One GP even compared his waiting room to a crèche and said working parents would bring their children to afterhour’s co-ops due to the fact that it’s free.
The figures now reveal that parents are finding it difficult to find a GP participating in the scheme especially in areas like Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin where nearly half of GP’s are not signed up.
The Independent spoke to one mother who said she applied for seven GP’s before she finally found one who would sign up her child.
It is said that roughly 20% of GPs are charging parents €50 for a consultation.