11,738 people in Clare can now visit their family doctor free of charge as a result of health reforms introduced by Fine Gael over the past two and a half years.

That’s according to Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey who said the party has eliminated the cost of seeing the doctor for more than a thousand  people throughout the county since June 2017.

“Fine Gael believes in universal healthcare. We believe the cost of going to the doctor should never be a barrier for families accessing care,” he said.

“We have made some progress. We have removed the cost of visiting the doctor for our carers and provided medical cards to children with disabilities. We have introduced free GP care for children under the age of six.

“We want to do more and will start with children aged 6 and 7 in September this year.”

Deputy Carey added: “Minister for Health Simon Harris has confirmed to me that an additional 1,086 people in our constituency have benefited from these measures over the past 30 months.

“It is important we balance the need to reduce the cost of healthcare with the necessity to resource our GPs.

“Minister Harris and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced a €210 million agreement with GPs but we know we must do more.

“This is why we will launch a review of general practice this year and hold discussions with the Irish Medical Organisation on a new fee for free GP care for under 6s and 7s.”

Fine Gael has made a number of steps to reduce the cost of healthcare including reductions in the monthly Drugs Payment Scheme threshold, reduction in prescription charges and giving more access to medical cards for those aged 70.

You can check your eligibility for the GP visit card at medicalcard.ie and you can apply for the Drugs Payment Scheme at mydps.ie or through your Local Health Office. The reduction in prescription fees will be applied automatically.