Doctors' fees for flu jab slashed
HEALTH Minister James Reilly last night slashed the fee to GPs for giving the flu vaccine to medical card holders from €42.75 to €28.50, writes Eilish O'Regan.
And last night Dr Reilly announced that he will sign regulations this week to cut the fee even further.
GPs have been charging the higher fee to the HSE for months despite a pledge made by former Health Minister Mary Harney to cut it by 15pc by the summer.
But the new rate of €28.50 is nearly twice the amount being paid to pharmacists to do the same work.
Pharmacists, who are allowed give the flu vaccine to medical card holders over the age of 65 years this winter, are paid €15 per jab. However, all other medical card holders who want the vaccine have to go to their GP, protecting much of the doctors' income for giving the jab.