20 Jan Dillon Welcomes Major Health Package for Children
· Extension of free GP care to all under 18s by 2025;
· Removing hospital charges for children;
· Free dental care for under 16s
· A baby box for every newborn
Fine Gael in government will remove the cost of healthcare for children.
Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, will introduce free GP care to all children and teenagers under the age of 18 over the next five years, in consultation with GPs.
In addition, all hospital charges will be abolished for children in Budget 2021. He also said that free dental care will be introduced for all under 16s over the lifetime of the Government.
Fine Gael will also introduce baby boxes to welcome every baby, packed full of clothes, blankets, nappies and other essentials to help families prepare for their new arrival.
Minister Harris said: “Fine Gael believes a parent should never have to choose between the health of their child and the cost of care.
“We are now taking the next steps towards universal healthcare. We will extend free GP care to all children and teenagers under the age of 18 by 2025.
“We will also introduce free dental care for under 16s. This is based on the best clinical advice and at a key time to develop good habits and preserve oral healthcare.
“We will also abolish hospital charges for children in Budget 2021.”
Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, said: “Over the last couple of years growth has returned to our economy.
“Economic progress is vital – it means more jobs and putting more money in people’s pockets.
“A strong economy is the foundation of a fair society – it means resources are once more available to invest in vital public services such as health, education, transport, employing more nurses, doctors, teachers, Gardaí.
“Fine Gael understands the cost faced by families in caring for their children and we believe cost should never be a barrier to children receiving basic healthcare.
“But we know this is not enough. Our proposals today will go some way to helping make life easier for families.”
Fine Gael general election candidate for Mayo, Alan Dillon said: “I know the burden of the high cost of care on families and I understand the pressures parents face.
“Fine Gael has a strong record of delivery and is committed to delivering more for families.
“To date, we’ve introduced free GP care for under 6s and eliminated the cost of seeing the doctor for over 45,000 people since June 2017.
“We have reduced prescription charges and reduced the monthly threshold for the Drug Payment Scheme, as well as introducing medical cards for children with severe disabilities.”