Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Questions (719)

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

719. Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Health the date on which in 2013 free general practitioner visits will be made available to those on the long term illness scheme as stated in Budget 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8520/13]

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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 annual budget of €15 million was provided for the first phase of the roll out of GP care without fees.