Wednesday, 19th March 2008
More people in Waterford are now visiting their GP free of charge thanks to an easing of the means test for medical cards and GP visit cards according to local Fianna Fail T.D. Brendan Kenneally.
‘In November 2004 the Government began to increase funding for medical cards and easing the means test for medical cards and the new GP Visit Card."
‘In Waterford, in the period from 1 January 2006 to 1 December 2007, 3,540 new people qualified for medical cards thanks to the easing of the means test. In addition to this 2,185 new people qualified for a GP visit card that allows them to attend their GP for free."
‘This increase of just over 5,700 people seeing their GP for free comes at a time when incomes have risen and unemployment has dropped."
"The move from an ‘all or nothing' approach to the issuing of medical cards has provided a big boost for Waterford families. I know the financial pressures, especially on families with young children or older people who might have to visit their GP more frequently than others. Many more of these people now get to visit their GP for free."
"People should apply for the GP visit card as the basic means test for it is 50% higher than that of the Medical Card. As it is based on income after tax, rent and mortgage repayments, childcare and travel expenses, it includes more people than ever. I look forward to these limits increasing even further in the future."
"Eligibility can be checked on the HSE website (www.hse.ie) where an easy to use calculator can make an assessment in a matter of seconds before making a formal application," concluded Deputy Kenneally.
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