An additional 55 Clare people have benefited from GP cards since new changes came into effect in April, local Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has confirmed. 

Deputy Carey said that the latest figures from the Department of Health show that 40,160 Clare people are now benefitting from medical cards and a further 11,245 from GP visit cards. 

An additional 45 medical cards were issued to Clare people in April while 55 GP visit cards were issued over the same period, he explained.

“A ten per cent broadening of  the threshold for GP visit cards has resulted in an overall increase in the number of people accessing GP visit cards throughout the country. 

“An additional 2,300 people have benefitted from changes and Health Minister Simon Harris has told me that 55 people in the Clare constituency have benefitted from the broadening of the threshold.

“These changes allow people to access vital GP services without concerns as to their ability to pay for this service. Fine Gael wants to see as many people as possible benefit from these measures and urge people to check their eligibility at where they can apply for the GP card.

The changes were announced as part of Budget 2019 and came into effect from April 1. They included a 10 per cent increase across all GP visit card weekly income thresholds, which could benefit up to 100,000 people.

They also include €10 reduction in the monthly Drugs Payment Scheme threshold from €134 to €124 and reduction in prescription charges from €2 to €1.50 for all medical card holders over the age of 70.