Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ceisteanna (211, 212, 213)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

215 Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if he has had any discussions with general practitioners regarding the extension of free GP care to long term illness claimants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23379/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

217 Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if general practitioners will be given any extra payments for the provision of free GP care to those with long term illnesses; the cost of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23381/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 215 and 217 together.

I have had preliminary discussions with the IMO and ICGP to outline policy in this regard. The question of remunerations has yet to be decided.

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

216 Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health when he expects the 56,000 long term illness patients to have access to free general practitioner care; when he will publish legislation in relation to this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23380/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

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 Universal GP Care within its first term of office.

Primary legislation is required to give effect to this commitment. The Department of Health is currently drafting legislation to provide for the phased introduction of a universal GP service without fees in line with the commitment set out in the Programme for Government. Initially it is intended to extend GP cover without fees to persons with certain long-term illness. It is my intention to have the Bill published and enacted before the summer recess.

Question No. 217 answered with Question No. 215.