Doctors' boycott to affect 5,000 children
Around 5,000 children aged under six who are entitled to free GP visits from July will be affected by a boycott of the scheme by a group of doctors.
The group of 39 doctors from across Tipperary, but particularly in the south of the county, wrote an open letter to Health Minister Leo Varadkar yesterday following his decision not to meet them over the new under-sixes contract. Nationally, nearly 75pc of GPs have signed up.
Dr Kevin Kelly, a GP in Clonmel, said: "It is up to the minister to now decide what he should do for the thousands of under six-year-olds who attend these doctors."
The GPs reiterated their concern about the increased demand, reduced consultation time and waiting lists which they say will arise as a result of the scheme.
Mr Varadkar has already turned down a request to meet them, saying in a letter to the GPs that "it might create an impression that the under six contract can be altered or renegotiated". "It cannot. It's done," he added.