Parents can sign up for free under-6s GP care from Monday

HSE says 51 per cent of doctors have agreed to operate the scheme ahead of launch

The HSE says 51 per cent, or 1,232 of the 2,413 GPs who hold medical card contracts, have signed up. It has also written to 336 GPs who do not hold contracts, inviting them to sign up. Photograph: Getty Images

The HSE says 51 per cent, or 1,232 of the 2,413 GPs who hold medical card contracts, have signed up. It has also written to 336 GPs who do not hold contracts, inviting them to sign up. Photograph: Getty Images

 

The HSE has confirmed the public registration for Under 6’s Free GP Care will commence from Monday June 15th in order to facilitate commencement of the new service from July 1st.

An easy to use online registration system will be available from next Monday for parents of children under 6 to register their child.

The HSE continues to receive signed contracts from GPs and will process these and update this list, and the online registration process for parents, up to and beyond the start of public registration for the new scheme next week.

Parents will be able to register their young children for under-6s free GP care from next Monday and the service will begin on July 1st, the HSE has confirmed.

But with new figures showing slightly over half of GP have signed up to the scheme, the provision of the service is likely to be patchy in many areas.

The HSE says 51 per cent, or 1,232 of the 2,413 GPs who hold medical card contracts, have signed up. It has also written to 336 GPs who do not hold contracts, inviting them to sign up.

High uptakes have been recorded in Donegal (93 per cent), Roscommon (90 per cent) and Longford/Westmeath (81 per cent). However, in south Tipperary, just 8 per cent of GPs are taking part in the scheme.

Other areas with low uptake include Cork South (22 per cent), Louth (22 per cent) and Kildare/West Wicklow (25 per cent).

Uptake in Dublin varies between 32 per cent in Dun Laoghaire and 71 per cent in west Dublin.

The HSE says it continues to receive signed contracts from GPs and will process these up to and beyond the start of public registration for the new scheme next week.

The Irish Medical Organisation, which negotiated the scheme with the HSE, says most GPs will sign it in time. The National Association of GPs is opposed to the scheme and claims many family doctors were bullied into signing up.