Free under-sixes GP visits face legal challenge
Plans to extend free GP care to all children under six by July risk being caught up in a legal wrangle, it emerged yesterday.
Chris Goodey, head of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP), which has over 1,200 members, said it has received advice that the HSE would be acting illegally if it removed existing medical card contracts from doctors who do not sign up to the free under-sixes deal.
The HSE says that any GP, who has existing under- six-year-olds on their books who are covered by a medical card or GP visit card, will have these contracts cancelled if they fail to sign up to the deal by May 25.
The doctors have been told they must sign the new under-sixes contract by the that date to allow parents to register their children by June.
The Government wants to extend free visits to under-sixes and over-70s.