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Dublin: 6 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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Doctors say reports of them getting €100 per child are 'inaccurate and wide of the mark'

The Department of Health states that negotiations are ongoing.

Image: Shutterstock/Oksana Kuzmina

NO FEE FOR doctors under the free GP care for children under six has been agreed, according to the Department of Health.

It had been reported that doctors are expected to be offered around €100 a year per child under the government’s new plan.

A statement to TheJournal.ie from the Department of Health states negotiations on a contract to facilitate free GP care to all children under the age of six are at an “advanced stage”.

However, it states discussions between the Department of Health, Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) have not concluded.

The department states:

It is not accurate to suggest that an offer of the type indicated by some reports is about to be made by the Department/HSE.

In addition, the IMO issued a statement, adding:

… media reports today on the nature of what was being discussed or considered in these negotiations by way of both payments and services are inaccurate and wide of the mark.

The HSE National Service Plan has set aside €25 million for the under six GP service.

“This estimate was based on existing service levels and fee rates,” said the department.

It is now envisaged an enhanced service including periodic assessments for children who reach the age of 2 and 5 will be included in the plan.

Enhanced services for children with asthma are also planned.

“At present the negotiations are focused on determining a fee for the service. Contracts will not be issued pending the conclusion of negotiations,” the department said.

“We do not expect that any contract will be offered to GPs until such negotiations have concluded,” said the IMO.

The government hopes the under 6 free care will be in place by the second quarter of 2015.

Additional reporting Paul Hosford

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