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FREE GP CARE will be available for children aged six and seven

Free GP Care is now accessible for children aged six and seven, who can be registered for the first time.

As part of the ongoing deployment of free GP services for children, families and guardians can register online for a GP Visit Card in the age group. GP Visit Cards allow holders to see their doctor for free while still paying for drugs and other services.

The HSE is urging families and guardians to apply for a GP Visit Card online at the HSE website: https://www2.hse.ie/services/schemes-allowances/gp-visit-cards/gp-visit-cards/

According to Shaun Flanagan, HSE Assistant National Director for the Primary Care Reimbursement Service, new applications to the scheme should not be delayed. He advised parents and guardians to use the “quickest and easiest way to apply” for a GP visit card for their kid by utilising the website.

Since 2015, children under the age of six have been eligible for GP Visit Cards.

The free care scheme has sparked debate among GP groups. The Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) cautioned earlier this year that if more individuals become medical card holders, it will be difficult to secure an appointment.

The HSE stated in a statement announcing the move that extending eligibility to children aged six and seven was backed by an agreement made last month with the Irish Medical Organisation.

According to the HSE, a range of supports have been put in place to help GPs handle the expected rise in demand for services. Furthermore, beginning next month, eligibility for income-based, means-tested GP Visit Cards will be expanded in two stages. The first phase begins on September 11th, and the second phase begins on November 13th.

Press release

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