Fine Gael set to drop promise of free GP care from election manifesto

Fine Gael set to drop promise of free GP care from election manifesto

Health Minister Leo Varadkar has said that introducing free GP care for everyone in the country is not achievable.

Fine Gael is set to drop the promise of free GP care from its election manifesto, just months after rolling back on its commitment to universal health insurance.

Leo Varadkar said that they do still think it is possible to introduce free GP care for everyone under 18 if re-elected to Government.

However, he said that it is not feasible to roll it out for everyone, as initially planned.

"We don't think it actually is achievable to extend GP care to everyone in the country, to all adults and all children, in the space of five years, because we're already a bit short on GPs, we're about 500 short," he said.

"And we do know that when something is free it increases attendances - both inappropriate attendances, but also appropriate attendances

"So it is a good thing on balance, [but] we have to have the capacity in the system and not overwhelm it."

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