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Government approves bill for universal GP care for over 70s

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and Minister of State for Primary and Social Care Kathleen Lynch have received Cabinet approval for the Health (General Practitioner Service) Bill 2015, and agreement that the Bill should be published and introduced to the Oireachtas.

“This phase in the introduction of a universal GP service for the whole population will see free GP services extended to all persons over the age of 70, regardless of income or means. In tandem with separate plans for the under-sixes, this will ensure that the youngest and the oldest have access to GP care without fees. This is a significant step on the way towards universal health care,” Minister Varadkar said.

Minister Lynch welcomed the Government decision saying: “The first two phases covering the over-70s and the under-sixes will ensure that our oldest citizens and the parents of our youngest can go to their GP, focusing on their health and not how much the visit will cost.”

Subject to the legislation being passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas, the objective is to have a universal GP service for over 70s by June of this year. This is proposed to coincide with the introduction of the under six service.

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