The start of registration for the Free GP Care service for people aged 70 and over is a great boost for the elderly in Meath and Westmeath and an important step towards universal healthcare.
Today’s announcement by Minister for Health Dr. Leo Varadkar means that from August 5th, all those aged 70 and over in Meath and Westmeath will be able to see their GP without paying fees. This is the second phase of universal GP care and applies to those who do not currently hold a medical or GP visit card.
A simple online registration system is available from today (Friday) on www.gpvisitcard.ie. Alternatively people can locall 1890 252 919 to receive a copy by post and the registration form will also be available in pharmacies and local health offices. People should note that persons over 70 who already hold a medical or GP visit card do not need to register. If anyone needs help or guidance they can contact the helpline 1890 252 919 (weekdays 8am-8pm).
This is great news for families across Meath and Westmeath as now, for the first time in Ireland, the eldest and youngest in our society will be able to access GP care without being charged.
Free GP care was a key Fine Gael election commitment and this is just a step along that road. Already this year we have introduced free GP care for under 6s. Now just under 40,000 people over 70 who had to pay for visiting their GP will no longer have to and this will result in real savings for pensioners.
The free GP card for over 70s is an important step towards changing the health system from one that only treats sick people to one that keeps people well.