IMO responds to Govt. u-turn on Medical Cards.
Warning that decision undermines the Government argument for giving GP Visit Cards to all children under 6
Tuesday 17 June 2014 IMO GPs have welcomed today’s announcement by the Government that it will restore discretionary medical cards to people whose cards were cancelled or not renewed as a result of its recent review. Dr. Walley, Chairman of the IMO GP Committee, said that it was encouraging – if ironic - that the Government had found the means to do something today which it described as “impossible” just a few weeks ago.
However, Dr Walley said the prioritisation of illness over means in the awarding of discretionary medical cards undermined the Government’s stated argument for extending free GP Visit Cards to all children under the age of six. Speaking today, Dr. Walley said that the move today suggested that “Government policy now appears to be that medical need is the basis for any further extension of the GMS Scheme,” he said. If this is the case, he argued, “the decision calls into question the policy to give GP Care which is free at the point of access to all Under 6s regardless of illness or income.”
Dr. Walley said that General Practice has suffered draconian cuts to resources and we call on the Government to ensure that any policy is properly resourced so that it can deliver quality care to patients in a safe and effective manner. ”