The short-term prospect of extending free GP care to all children and everyone over the age of 70 would be a welcome move but further reflects a chaotic approach to health policy according to Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Health Caoimhghín Ó Caolain TD.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said;
“The latest leaked report from Fine Gael and Labour negotiations that free GP care will be extended to everyone over the age of 70, at a full year cost of €15m to the exchequer, is indeed welcome. Any measure that extends access to medical care free at the point of delivery is progress.
“But we really must question this Government’s track record on health policy. Primary care and free GP care policy is a perfect case in point. Fine Gael and Labour Ministers have stumbled from plan to plan without any delivery. First it was Long Term Illness in year one and High Tech Drugs in year two. Neither happened. Then it was under 6s to be delivered in year three, this then postponed until summer and now autumn 2014.
“The Government is developing health policy on the hoof and causing chaos in its relationship with General Practitioners at the same time.”