Poll: Do you think free GP care should be extended to kids over six?

Health minister Simon Harris says €60 is too expensive.

shutterstock_586443614 Shutterstock / AnnaVel Shutterstock / AnnaVel / AnnaVel

FREQUENT VISITS TO THE doctor are unfortunately an inevitable part of the parenting experience -especially during your little one’s earliest years, as their immune systems are still developing.

The average child will pick up approximately 50-60 bugs between the time they’re born and their first day at school, estimates Dr Mark Rowe of Waterford Health Park Primary Care Centre.

But at €55 or €60 a pop, those frequent visits can put a lot of financial pressure on parents, and even though under sixes have been entitled to free GP visits since July 2015, bills can mount up for older kids.

During the week, health minister Simon Harris said that current GP fees are ‘too expensive’, while a new report of GP and primary care found that those costs deterred one in three patients from making at appointment.

A proposed plan to extend free GP care to kids up to 12 years of age was delayed last year, with no update on when or if it will be rolled out. In October of this year, the Sunday Independent reported that the government was considering charging a ‘nominal’ fee of €5 per visit for free GP care for the under-12s in an attempt to appease doctors.

So tell us, do you think free GP care should be extended to kids over six?

Poll Results:

Yes, it's difficult to afford €60 every time. (195)
No, I don't think so (58)
I'm not sure. (5)

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