Reacting to Budget 2020, Green Party Health Spokesperson Seamus McMenamin said:
“We support the principle of extending GP access free of charge to all age groups but it is clear there is no capacity among general practitioners to provide this without disadvantaging other groups.
“Before the under-6 GP card was introduced the government and Department of Health said there would be no increase in attendances, and there was.
“There is a recruitment and retention crisis in health which includes GPs. What is the value of free GP care if you don’t have a GP in your town? Or if, when you need to attend a GP, you have to wait for a week or two?
“We used to pride ourselves on the fact that GPs in Ireland often ran a walk-in service. Now, waiting lists of 1-2 weeks are not uncommon in general practice and introducing this measure at this time is likely to exclude other patient groups as attendance among under-8s increases.
“The government really need to take this issue seriously and sit down with GP representative groups and work out a way of making this happen safely.”
Read our 2020 pre-budget submission here.
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