Sunday 17 December 2017

GPs to get €12k for free care

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

FAMILY doctors could get an average income of around €12,000 this year from the extension of free GP care to the under-sixes.

This could double to around €24,000 each next year, according to the Health Service Executive (HSE), which has €37m to spend on the controversial measure.

The HSE's head of primary care, John Hennessy, said the entire €37m will go to doctors and none to administration costs.

The fees paid to GPs are gross sums and no negotiations on the contract they will be asked to sign have yet taken place.

There are around 420,000 children in the under-six age group in the country and parents of 240,000 of these, who pay for GP visits privately, are to be given free care.

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), the doctors' union, cannot negotiate on fees due to competition law and the sum will be set by Health Minister James Reilly.

The IMO is holding another meeting on "talks about talks" with Department of Health officials this week.

Irish Independent

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