Free To Those Who Can Afford It

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20/5/2013 Health Committees on Abortion

(L-R) Dr Darach O’Ciardha, Kieran Ryan CEO, Dr Margaret O’Riordan Medical Director, and Dr Seamus Cryan President, of the Irish College of General Practitioners

The Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) today reacted to the confirmation from the Government that it plans to go ahead with taking over the cost of paying for GP care for under-fives from parents. Kieran Ryan, CEO of the ICGP, said, “It is the policy of the ICGP to support mechanisms for the provision of care where ability to pay is not a barrier. However, the proposal that parents of all under-fives would not be charged directly for GP visits represents a major change to how early years health services are currently organised and paid for. There has been no discussion with the profession on this.

Dr Darach Ó Ciardha said, “If paying for this is coming from the medical card scheme, without that pot being increased considerably, then other vulnerable groups will be affected most. It would not be fair or reasonable that someone on a high salary, who can afford to pay for GP care for their child, would now get it for free, but that vulnerable people who need medical cards would lose them to pay for it.”

ICGP statement on free GP visits for under-fives (Irish College of General Practitioners)

File pic: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland