26 June 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Depending on who you ask it’s the best thing since Noel Brown’s Mother and Child Scheme of the 1950s, or it’s terrible, the very thin end of the wedge marking the erosion of GPs earning potential.
But, one way or another, 75% of GPs in Cork have registered for the scheme according to the latest data released by the Department of Health.
Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, Fine Gael TD for Cork South Central, Jerry Buttimer, confirmed the stats to TheCork.ie and said “The high rate of registration by GPs in Cork to deliver free care to children under 6 will benefit children and families across the county. Over 75% of GPs have signed up for this scheme which is part of the process of rolling out universal health care. I would encourage parents to sign up for this scheme at www.gpvisitcard.ie.
“As well as high registration from GPs a large number of children are already signed up. Over 54,000 children have been registered for free GP care which begins on July 1st. It is great to see that parents are registering their children for free GP care in such high numbers.
“With the implementation of free GP care for under-6s, we are taking another important step on the road to universal healthcare. This follows the recent agreement on free GP care for over-70s. These measures will help ensure good quality primary care for the youngest and oldest in our society. It is best, where possible, to identify and treat illnesses locally, either in your local doctor’s surgery or primary care centre. By improving primary care we aim to reduce the demand on our hospitals which are under extreme pressure.
“All children under-6 will benefit from the new enhanced service including age-based preventive checks focused on health and wellbeing and the prevention of disease. For children diagnosed with asthma doctors will carry out an annual review of each child where asthma has been diagnosed.”