An additional 14,000 carers have been made eligible for free GP services from September 1st under a move by the Government and HSE.
Thousands of carers who previously did not qualify on means or age grounds for a GP visit card will now be eligible for free GP services.
This announcement follows a revelation that highest proportion of carers in Ireland are in Convoy, Co. Donegal. Carers in the village provide more than 43 hours a week looking after family members, older relatives and younger disabled people, the Irish Independent reports.
Registration is now open for free GP visits and applies to carers who are currently in receipt of either full or half rate Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Benefit, and who do not currently hold a medical or GP visit card.
Carers are being encouraged to register for their free GP Visit Cards at www.mymedicalcard.ie. Paper registration forms are also available from local Citizen Advice Centres and available to download from the website. Completed registration forms will be processed within 15 working days.
Minister for Health, Simon Harris, and Minister of State for Disabilities, Finian McGrath, joined carers Moira Skelly and Rosemary Kratzchmer (both from Dublin) to launch the scheme.
Moira Skelly from Dublin cares for her daughter Ciara. Moria spoke about the impact that free GP care has on carers like her, all across the country:
“I welcome this move as a step in the right direction. It is another step forward in recognising the very important role of carers in Ireland. Being a carer is more than a full time job, it is 24/7. My daughter Ciara is 23 years old and has intractable epilepsy, this means that medication won’t help control her seizures.
“Like many carers I have given up working to look after Ciara. The reality of only having one income coming into the house is that you really have to watch your money.
“Caring for Ciara is physically very demanding, I wash her, dress and feed her. I would often put off going to the GP to get pains checked out. Having access to free GP services is a step in the right direction. It gives me one less thing to worry about.”
Further information is available at www.mymedicalcard.ie or by calling 1890 252 919 (Mon-Fri: 8am to 8pm).Tags: