Free GP care extended to carers in Cork

Free GP care is to be extended to carers in Cork, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator Jerry Buttimer confirmed that the Oireachtas passed the Health (General Practitioner Service) Bill 2018 this week, meaning 14,000 Carers nationally will now receive the Free GP Visit Card. This is in addition to those Carers who already have free GP access through a Medical Card.

Senator Buttimer said: “The new Health legislation passed by the Oireachtas this week means that anyone in receipt of either full or half rate Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Benefit, will be automatically eligible for a GP service free of charge.

“This is a really important policy change which will benefit many carers in Cork.

“Fine Gael in Government is working to ensure that our economic recovery benefits those who need it most. Carers give invaluable service to this State and so it is really important to provide them with additional supports such as free GP care.

“We know that one of the difficulties for Carers is ensuring that their own health is looked after, both physical and mental health. This new free GP access will ensure Carers are supported in looking after their own health and well-being.

“My Fine Gael colleague, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has said he wants this free GP access for Carers in place as quickly as possible.

“Once the HSE undertakes the necessary operational requirements, applications for the new services, in both paper and online format, will be in place by 1st September 2018. This means Carers in Cork are going to be able to access their free GP Visit Card in the very near future.”