GP fees row could delay meningitis B jab roll-out
The rollout of two new vaccines to babies, to protect against meningitis B and the rotavirus, may be delayed if a fee is not agreed with GPs.
Parents were promised the jabs would be added to the childhood vaccines programme for babies from December 1.
However, both the Irish Medical Organisation and the National Association of General Practitioners said this deadline will not be met unless a fee for the extra workload is agreed.
The HSE said it hopes that there will be a timely rollout of the vaccines.
Meningitis B is one of the most feared illnesses by parents who may not recognise the symptoms and get their child treated on time.
It can strike with speed and lead to death or severe complications if untreated.
The rotavirus is a highly infectious stomach bug.
Fianna Fáil Dublin West TD, Jack Chambers yesterday strongly criticised the failure of the Health Department to plan for the introduction these vaccines.
He warned of the growing concern by many families of newborn babies nationwide.
"This is another example of the Government committing to a vaccination programme which it is simply not delivering," Mr Chambers said.
"This has the potential to be a serious public health concern. What are the government doing to rectify this situation?"