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Thread: Free GP Visits for the Under 5s to be in Budget

  1. #1
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    Default Free GP Visits for the Under 5s to be in Budget

    I'd be in favour of free health care for all as a right and a social investment.

    O'Reilly it seems is to go ahead and introduce free GP visits for the under 5s in the budget.

    For parents of small children this will certainly be welcome. The IMO seems to be opposing it on grounds that it makes no sense when essential services and discretionary medical cards are being cut, and that it is a gimmick.

    Personally I welcome it because I'd see it as opening the door to wider recognition that equal access to health care should be something that everyone gets by right.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/healt...five-1.1485628
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Free GP Visits for the Under 5s to be in Budget

    I've been in and out of the hospitals up here again recently, as the auld ticker once more has me on the hop.

    Nothing major or super-serious mind you, but enough to require ongoing monitoring and fast access to the relevant departments in cardiac and so on.

    What strikes me as absurd is the notion of any form of segregation or entitlement ranking between Irish citizens and foreign residents in Ireland in relation to medical care. I pay a lower rate of tax as a self-employed immigrant here in Finland than I would do as an equivalent self-employed person in Ireland, but I have almost instant and fantastically high-quality medical care available to me at the touch of a dial.

    Of all the visits, tests, consultations, and medications I've made and received recently, my bill remains at €27.50, excluding medications and pharmaceuticals. But then again, I can claim them all back in my next tax return anyway, so effectively, they're free too.

    If I was being taxed at the rate any self-employed persons in Ireland are, but found myself struggling to feed the family and pay the bills after paying off expensive state medical care, I'd be extremely angry too.

    Reilly is just bouncing the numbers in his usual tokenist way. All under fives, over fives, and otherwise should have instant and thorough care regardless of their situation, skin colour, background, or social status. Anything less is an offense to basic humanity in a supposed first world country.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Free GP Visits for the Under 5s to be in Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I'd be in favour of free health care for all as a right and a social investment.

    O'Reilly it seems is to go ahead and introduce free GP visits for the under 5s in the budget.

    For parents of small children this will certainly be welcome. The IMO seems to be opposing it on grounds that it makes no sense when essential services and discretionary medical cards are being cut, and that it is a gimmick.

    Personally I welcome it because I'd see it as opening the door to wider recognition that equal access to health care should be something that everyone gets by right.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/healt...five-1.1485628
    Giving medical cards to the children millionaires .......... is giving medical cards to millionaires. Cui Bono?

    http://www.irishtimes.com/debate/let...llen-1.1557944
    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”

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    Default Re: Free GP Visits for the Under 5s to be in Budget

    The vast majority of parents of under fives are not millionaires. For me (as the mother of an 18 month old) this is a total blessing. Anyone with a smallie in daycare will know they catch everything going until about the age of 2 1/2-3; better immunity seems to co-incide with the end of teething. For stay at home parents, the nightmare year tends to be Junior Infants. In all cases, I'm sure there are plenty of parents who have diced with their kids health by delaying a visit to the quack for too long owing to the cost. I know I've done it; in the UK because the queues were only hellish (try waiting in the docs surgery for two hours with a tot with the winter vom bug/diarrhoea... this is how to spread plague to the elderly and infirm), and here because it costs money I don't have.

    Someone on RTE was saying it'll reduce queues at kids A&E; they're totally right.

    For once, bless you, James Reilly!

    Can't believe I just typed that, but...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Free GP Visits for the Under 5s to be in Budget

    Can you bless Alex White while you are at it Morticia?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Free GP Visits for the Under 5s to be in Budget

    Giving free GP care to all under 5 year olds, is a political stroke and an obvious attempt to hoover up a few votes. A stroke that is typical of this government's lack of vision.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Free GP Visits for the Under 5s to be in Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by goatstoe View Post
    Giving free GP care to all under 5 year olds, is a political stroke and an obvious attempt to hoover up a few votes. A stroke that is typical of this government's lack of vision.
    It is the reverse of the FG shoe tax. It is a lollypop to distract us from everything else in the budget.

    I just feel that it will give people the notion that access to basic health care should be a right, and we should prioritise it.

    The cynic in me thinks that this will be a bonanza for pharma, as people will buy more antibiotics, and also question, for the same reason, whether it will on balance improve childrens' health. The immune system needs to learn to do its job.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Free GP Visits for the Under 5s to be in Budget

    Ah, bless them all. Won't be defaulting on the mortgage as a result of this Budget, phew. Now if they could actually do something about getting more people back to work (that seems to be the plan), we might be doing a lot better. We live in hope.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Free GP Visits for the Under 5s to be in Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    It is the reverse of the FG shoe tax. It is a lollypop to distract us from everything else in the budget.

    I just feel that it will give people the notion that access to basic health care should be a right, and we should prioritise it.

    The cynic in me thinks that this will be a bonanza for pharma, as people will buy more antibiotics, and also question, for the same reason, whether it will on balance improve childrens' health. The immune system needs to learn to do its job.
    Firstly, I think this is a staged attempt at universal health care, if it moves up to under 10s in the next budget, so much the better. They had to start somewhere. This is a good way, they can see how much it costs before rolling it out further.

    The big plus is where there's something seriously wrong with a little one, rare, I know, but with free doctor's visits, it get picked up earlier. For the usual colds and flus, there's no real impact, but at least we won't have people sitting at home until their child is half dead before going to the doctor. Over 5s can usually tell you what's wrong, so you have a much better idea from the first "I don't feel well" as to what the problem might be.

    As for pharma bonanzas, since they employ a lot of people here, that may not be a huge loss. Anyway, most of what is prescribed to under 5s isn't expensive drugs for chronic conditions (such as what are give to over 50s with atherosclerosis, diabetes, arthritis etc), it's once off prescriptions of off-patent antibiotics and the odd skin cream or inhaler. Not a major earner, IMO. Frankly, they could probably easily roll this out for the under 20s without incurring huge costs; where universal health care becomes expensive is when you extend it to over 40s. Which, economically speaking, I'm not sure they should do. And I am over 40....

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