Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (640, 668)

Michael McGrath

Question:

640. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health when he plans to provide medical cards to persons on the long term illness scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9663/13]

View answer

Peter Mathews

Question:

668. Deputy Peter Mathews asked the Minister for Health if he will provide an update in relation to the provision of free general practitioner care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9800/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 640 and 668 together.

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 the 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.