Given the backlash against proposals for free GP care for children under the age of six, there was always going to be outcry over extending it to under-12s.
This appears to be the case after yesterday’s Budget, as the provision came in for major criticism by the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) and the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP).
While the IMO president, Dr Ray Walley, described the proposal as ‘simply not realistic’, a representative of the NAGP has called for an impact report to show just how successful the free GP schemes for under-6s and over-70s have been thus far.
“The NAGP is gravely concerned that almost €300,000 was spent in recent months promoting the latest doctor visit card scheme. Yet 80,000 children remain unregistered. This is money that could have funded free meningitis B vaccines for children around the country, which could have actually saved lives,” said representative Dr Yvonne Williams.
This latest proposal formed part of a €13.175 billion health plan unveiled yesterday as part of Budget 2016.
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