Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has confirmed that free GP care is set to be extended to thousands of Irish families.
The expansion of the free GP care will cater to a further half a million people, including all six and seven-year-olds and people who are earning up to the median income.
Minister Donnelly said that there was a “very substantial financial element” for GPs, which includes an increase in fees.
He said: “I’m seeking government agreement today to provide free GP care to an additional half a million men, women and children in the country.
“It comes after several months of very constructive, productive engagement with the IMO on behalf of GPs. It’s a really important measure for people all over the country who simply cannot afford to go to the GP.
“This government is fully committed to universal healthcare.”
He went on to say during the press conference that one of the main aspects of universal healthcare is that it is affordable.
“So this is a really important measure, half a million men, women and children, and it’s in two parts.
“So it includes now children aged six and seven – all children aged six and seven – and it includes up to the median household income.
“The median household income of 47,000 euro is after some big reductions. So it’s after rent, it’s after mortgages, it’s after childcare, and it’s after a few other things like house insurance as well and we’ll make the details of that available.”
The move is set to begin in August and will see almost 80,000 six and seven-year-olds and 470,000 people who are earning up to the median income of €47,000 benefit.