Thursday, 13 December 2012

Questions (189)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

189. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health in view of the announcement in Budget 2013, if he will provide the full detail of the proposed implementation of free general practitioner care; when the necessary legislation will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56180/12]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Programme for Government commits to reforming the current public health system by introducing Universal Health Insurance with equal access to care for all. As part of this, the Government is committed to introducing, on a phased basis, GP care without fees within its first term of office. Primary legislation is required to give effect to Government commitment to introduce a universal GP service without fees.

Legislation to allow the Minister for Health to make regulations to extend access to GP services without fees to persons with prescribed illnesses is currently being drafted by the Office of the Attorney General and the Department and it will be published shortly. Implementation dates and application details will be announced in due course.

An additional amount of €15 million was provided in Budget 2013 for the roll out of GP care without fees.