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.