Mary believes that access to health care should be based on peoples medical need and not on their ability to pay. Mary is working in the Seanad to progress Sláintecare which aims to provide universal access to healthcare.
In the Seanad this week Mary supported an important piece of legislation which will help expand free access to GP care to all children under twelve and senior citizens over 70 years of age. This will help progress towards the ultimate goal of full implementation of Slaintecare over the months and years ahead.
The expansion of GP care without charges is an important health measure and builds towards a commitment to ensure access to GP care for all, as well as the Sláintecare Implementation Plan for universal access to healthcare.
The Bill provides for the extension of GP care without fees to 6 and 7 year olds in the first instance and provides the basis for further phased extension of GP care without fees to all children 12 years and under in the years ahead. The Bill also provides for the implementation of an increase in the weekly gross medical card income limits for those aged 70 or older to €550 for individuals and €1,050 for couples.
The benefits of this legislation are twofold. It will significantly improve access to GP services for children and also increase the numbers of those over 70 who have access to a medical card.
This legislation gives effect to two welcome measures which are important steps to delivering on the commitment to ensure affordable access to healthcare for all.
You can read the legislation here.