14 July 2023
GPs agree increase in fees as part of extending GP cards
The Irish Medical Organisation and the Department of Health have agreed on a package of changes including increased fees, amounting to approximately €130 million per year. The increased fees will allow GPs to recruit more staff to manage the increased demand for services, as an additional 500,000 will get access to a GP visit card.
The additional GP cards will be available for six and seven-year-old children and those who earn less than the national median wage. It is the largest expansion in access to free GP care in Ireland's history and will be phased in from August 2023.
Daniel Hodgson, FODO Ireland's head of policy and public affairs, said: "Ensuring that more people can afford to access healthcare, and in the right place, is one of the government's key commitments. It is, therefore, great to see eligibility for GP care expand and the corresponding investment in GP services.
"FODO Ireland has called for more eye care services to be available under the medical card and greater use of local optical practices to deliver these services. We have also raised concerns about the inequity of access to eye care. All these match with governments priorities, so we would welcome discussion on expanding services and appropriate resources for primary eye care."