GPs warn on free care for under-sixes

Maria Pepper

Published 15/04/2014 | 05:30

County Wexford GPs are warning that the Government plan to provide free medical care to all children under six will place pressure on already over-worked surgeries.

County Wexford GPs are warning that the Government plan to provide free medical care to all children under six will place pressure on already over-worked surgeries.

Doctors from around the county gathered at a meeting in the Talbot Hotel last night (Monday) to outline their concerns to politicians including TD Dr. Liam Twomey and local councillors.

Wexford doctors also attended a protest meeting in Dublin last Thursday which was organised by the National Association of General Practitioners.

Local GPs are not opposed to the idea of free GP care and actually welcome it, but say it cannot be achieved without additional resources.

They are angry that the Government is refusing to discuss terms with the Irish Medical Organisation on the grounds that it is against competition law.

Dr. Michael O'Doherty in Gorey believes everyone should have access to free GP care but 'it has to be structured or it won't work.'

Dr. O'Doherty said general practice is an aspect of the health service that works but he fears it will be destroyed by the Government throwing more demands at it without extra resources.

'It's unfair. We can only do more if we have more resources.'

Wexford town GP, Dr. David Curtis, said giving free medical care to under-sixes is 'a brilliant idea', but it will lead to an increase in consultations at surgeries already under pressure, and unless additional resources are given to GP practices to enable them to cope, it will lead to delays in people getting appointments.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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