80,000 more children aged six and seven are set to get free GP care this year
This will be welcome news to many.
Free GP care was introduced for under-sixes in recent years.
And now, more than 80,000 children aged six and seven are expected to be entitled to free GP care later this year, the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) was told earlier this weekend.
Currently, there are around 130,000 children in this age group and some 50,000 already have free visits due to being covered by a medical card or GP card.
The extension of free GP care to other age groups is expected to be rolled out on a yearly basis, with children in the eight-nine-year-old age group to follow next, and then afterwards 10, 11 and 12-year-olds will be added.
Val Moran, head of GP industrial relations in the IMO, was speaking about negotiations currently underway with health officials on the further rollout of the scheme, and Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, also confirmed discussions on the extension are currently underway.
Commenting on the rollout of free contraception to women aged 17-25, Moran said the aim was to have this in place by August but this could be an ambitious target.
It will involve a free consultation as well as another appointment to allow for the fitting or removal of long acting reversible contraception.
GPs are also set to be involved in the possible rollout of another Covid-19 vaccine along with the flu vaccine next autumn.