Consultation Process on Free GP Care for Under 6s Begins

The consultation process on the content and scope of a new GP contract for the provision of GP care, free at the point of use, for all children aged under six years of age began today.

This is the first phase in the provision of a universal GP service for the entire population as set out in the Programme for Government and in Future Health.

A draft contract document has been developed, which will underpin the provision of GP care for children aged under six. The consultation process starting today relates to the content and scope of this contract. New enabling legislation is also being drafted.

Today I met with key stakeholders – the Irish College of General Practitioners, the Irish Medical Organisation and the National Association of General Practitioners – to brief them on Government policy concerning the introduction of a universal GP service without fees, and in particular on the first phase covering children aged under six. The meetings included a presentation on the key features of the draft contract.

The views of the general public and interested bodies are also being invited. The draft contract is available for review on the HSE website atwww.hse.ie/under6contract. The closing date for receipt of written submissions by the HSE is February 21st 2014. The address is:

The Office of the Assistant National Director, Contracts,
Health Service Executive
Primary Care Division
St Loman’s Hospital
Mullingar
Co. Westmeath
or by email to natcontractsoffice@hse.ie

I look forward to a constructive engagement over the coming weeks with GPs and their representatives on the scope of the contract. I am also interested in hearing the views of the general public on the type of service to be delivered to children under this new arrangement. This is the first public consultation of its kind and I am sure that this broad engagement will be helpful to all involved.