Varadkar launches registration system for Free GP Care

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We’re Taking the First Steps- Free GP Care for Children Under 6

Online Registration is Now Open

Visit www.gpvisitcard.ie  for details and to register children under 6 for this new service

Minister Leo Varadkar has officially launched the registration system for the new Free GP Care for Children Under 6 service which will commence on July 1st. Parents are encouraged to visit www.gpvisitcard.ie  for more details and to register their children for this new service which will commence on July 1st.

Speaking at the launch Minister Varadkar said: “This is an investment in our future generations. Free GP care for children under 6 will significantly improve access to quality healthcare. It’s also the first real step to universal healthcare. From this summer, almost 300,000 children will be able to see their GP without paying fees, for the first time. The scheme has a strong focus on keeping people healthy, and preventing illnesses. It’s the widest extension in health care eligibility since Erskine Childers brought in the first GMS contract almost half a century ago, and it represents significant investment in primary healthcare. It brings us into line with what other European countries did decades ago. I strongly believe that, in the future, children should not be means-tested for healthcare based on their parents’ income.  We don’t do it for education, childcare or child benefit and we should strive to reach a stage where we don’t do it for healthcare.”

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Minister Kathleem Lynch added, “This is good news for parents with babies and young children. Having a sick child is challenging enough without having to worry about the cost of visiting your GP.  Assessments for children at age 2 and 5 years as part of the service are in keeping with this Government’s  commitment to improving health and wellbeing. In addition, the new Asthma programme will help parents and children to manage this condition hopefully leading to a better quality of life. The fact that parents and guardians have been signing up in their thousands since early this morning demonstrates the enormous support for this measure.”

A HSE public information campaign on the new service also kicked off today and aims to encourage the parents of 276,000 children under 6 who do not have a medical card to go to www.gpvisitcard.ie  to register their children for this new service.

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Mr John Hennessy, HSE National Director for Primary Care, explained; The online registration system on www.gpvisitcard.ie is a simple process requiring each child’s PPS number, gender and date of birth, a parent’s or guardian’s PPS number and contact details and the selection of a GP of choice. Parents or guardians should go online and complete a simple 5 step process. If their GP of choice is accepting online registrations they simply submit their completed application online and await GP acceptance. If their GP of choice is not accepting online registrations, they complete the form online, print it and bring it to their GP of choice for acceptance and return it to us by post. If any parent or guardian needs help or guidance they should contact our LoCall helpline 1890 252 919 and we will gladly assist”

From July 1st all children under 6 will be eligible for GP care free at the point of service. They will also benefit from age-based assessments focused on health and wellbeing, identifying obesity and other problems early, and the prevention of disease. These assessments will be carried out once when a child is aged 2 and again at age 5, in accordance with an agreed protocol.  The service will include an agreed cycle of care for children diagnosed with asthma, under which GPs will carry out an annual review of each child where the doctor has diagnosed asthma.

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To date 1,407 GPS across the country have signed agreements to provide this enhanced service for children under 6 and a list of participating GPs is published on www.gpvisitcard.ieThe HSE continues to receive signed contracts from GPs and will process these and update this list as quickly as possible.

For further detail visit www.gpvisitcard.ie  or Lo Call 1890 252 919