Would it be possible to introduce a €10 charge on medical card holders for GP visits / callouts in order to deter the hypochondriacs and abusers of the medical card system from making unnecessary visits. The yearly welfare benefit/pension/unmarried mothers allowance etc. could be upped by say €60 in order to make it cost neutral to the medical card holder. The HSE’s GP bill should be immediately reduced by 20-25% in order to make it cost neutral to exchequer. Further reductions would be negotiated after a 6 month period when the average GP visits have reduced. A nurse line such as that run by VHI should also be made available to medical card holders. Th contract to provide the nurse line could be tendered annually. As a parent I find the service extremely beneficial and it has certainly reduced our average number of GP visits.

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