Three quarters of all GPs in Waterford had signed up for the Government’s controversial new GP VisitCard for the Under-6s scheme as we went to press on Monday evening, with several more indicating that they would register by the end of this week.
Uptake in Waterford has been significantly higher than other areas of the country, with just 8% of family doctors in neighbouring South Tipperary agreeing to the terms of the scheme.
Fifty one out of a possible 68 GPs in Waterford had signed up to the new scheme by Monday, when its new website went live. A number of other local GPs said they had hitherto adopted a ‘wait and see’ approach, to gauge the level of response and resistance in Waterford.
With considerable pressure coming from parents, several of these remaining GPs told The Munster Express that they will opt in to the scheme this week. Ten thousand children in
Waterford qualify for free GP care under the new VisitCard scheme. Registration opened online on Monday, at
The site crashed a number of times throughout Monday, such was the initial high volumes of traffic.
A list of GPs who have signed up to provide free care is available on the website and parents who cannot find their local GP on this list are advised to contact the GP practice directly.
Meanwhile, construction of the long-awaited €20 Palliative Care Unit at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) is due to commence next year.
In a letter sent to Minister of State Paudie Coffey dated June 9th, HSE South/South West Group Chief Executive Gerry O’Dwyer stated: “The Estates Manager has received a decision to grant planning permission from the local authority and are presently reviewing construction costs vs original budget. “Enabling works have already been completed and a design team appointed, construction is due to commence in 2016.”
The 21-bed Palliative Care Unit will be contained within a
new five-storey development, fronting onto the Ardkeen
Roundabout and will take up two floors of the new facility