Fine Gael is delivering for families and individuals as an additional 215,000 people are set to benefit from free GP visit cards from today, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator Martin Conway said the expansion of the GP visit card scheme, which has seen around half a million people become eligible since August, is another example of how Fine Gael is putting more money back in peoples’ pockets.
Senator Conway, Fine Gael’s Seanad Health spokesperson, said: “From today , another 215,000 people become eligible for free GP visit cards, covering visits to the GP and out of-hours urgent GP care.
“The qualifying financial thresholds have been increased again today, following an initial increase in September.
“This represents the biggest expansion of free GP care in the history of the State, and now over half the population are entitled to free GP care (Medical cards / GP visit cards), which is a hugely positive and progressive step.
“Putting it into perspective, a couple earning a combined salary of over €100,000 with two children qualify for a family GP visit card. A single individual earning around €36,000 annually and paying rent would also be eligible for a GP visit card.
“Individuals may think they will not qualify but the application process factors in household expenses such as mortgage or rent and childcare, along with income.
“People who may be eligible can get more information and apply for a GP visit card through a new simplified online application process at hse.ie/GPVisitCards.
“The move by this Government follows the reduction of the maximum amount payable under the Drug Payment Scheme to €80 per month, the removal of public in-patient charges for patients and the introduction of free contraception plus its expansion to cover 17 to 30 year olds.
“We know that families and people face pressures in paying their bills and measures such as the expansion of free GP visit card scheme demonstrates Fine Gael’s ongoing commitment to making work pay, putting money back in people’s pockets and delivering for Rural Ireland.
“Indeed, this will be the focus of a Special Conference the party will hold in Maynooth, Co Kildare on Saturday, November 18th , to discuss how we are building stronger, safer, communities and ensuring that rural Ireland prospers now and into the future,” Senator Conway concluded.