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Written Answers - Long-Term Illness Scheme

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 460.  Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  when he expects that free general practitioner visits will be extended to long term illness card holders; and if he will expedite the matter. [23708/12]

[485]

 467.  Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  when free general practitioner visits will be extended to long term illness card holders; and if he will expedite the measure. [23780/12]

 469.  Deputy Billy Timmins Information on Billy Timmins Zoom on Billy Timmins  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  the position regarding the allocation of free general practitioner visits medical cards for persons who have long term illnesses; when same will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23821/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Róisín Shortall): Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall I propose to take Questions Nos. 460, 467 and 469 together.

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.


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