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Ministers sign off on over-70s free GP care plan

It’s expected that draft legislation will be ready by the end of the year.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE GOVERNMENT HAS agreed to progress its plan to bring in free GP care for the over 70s.

The commitment bring to extend the free GP care scheme by the end of the coalition’s term was contained in a policy document worked out by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and new Tánaiste Joan Burton, in the wake of her election as Labour leader.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar brought a memo to Cabinet this morning applying for permission to draft legislation to bring in the measure.

It’s expected that draft plan will be ready by the end of the year.

As part of the scheme, free GP care is already being rolled out to children under six-years-old — legislation for this measure recently passed in the Dáil.

The plan has come in for severe criticism from doctors.

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The Irish Medical Organisation said Government policy in the area was “in complete disarray” in the wake of Kenny’s initial Dáil announcement of the over-70s plan.

This morning’s Cabinet meeting was the last before the summer recess. The next formal meeting will be on 3 September.

Read: Here’s the one thing Enda Kenny and Joan Burton have definitely agreed on…

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Daragh Brophy

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