Thursday 18 October 2018

Minister for Health says he wants maximum charge of €10 for children to attend GP

Simon Harris was speaking on TV3’s The Sunday Show

Health Minister Simon Harris
Health Minister Simon Harris

Sean Nolan

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said he would like to see a maximum charge of €10 for a child to attend a GP.

Minister Harris appeared on TV3's The Sunday Show with Sarah McInerney when the topic of GP costs came up.

The Minister said that he thought it was "morally wrong" that a parent may go to bed worrying about how to pay €60 for their child to attend a GP in Ireland.

“I would like GP care for children to be free," he said "but if our GP colleagues have an argument that it should be limited to a certain number of visits a year or a nominal charge, I'm willing to engage with that.

"I would like a nominal charge, if a charge at all, I see a nominal charge as a fiver, a tenner, no more."

Minister Harris also spoke about having greater training for GPs in the wake of the the tragic case of Milly Tuomey.

"Clearly something needs to be changed," he said.

"I think the fact that a child so young finds themselves in this position is frightening, it's frightening for society. There are a number of areas where Milly's family highlighted that need change and I was particularly struck by the point you (Sarah McInerney) made on GP training.

"I will be working with my department and the Minister for Mental Health on how to address those issues. I'm beginning to see more and more parents of younger children come to our clinics to express concern and I think our systems to date are not fully prepared for that.

"We need to address these issues and I will be taking very seriously what Milly's parents have to say."

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