Dromahair is the only area in Leitrim that is not covered by the Free GP Visit for children under the age of six which commences on July 1.
Eleven doctors within the county have signed up to accept the scheme for free health checks and visits for kids under 6 years. Aside from Donegal, Sligo- Leitrim has the highest take up of the scheme in the country.
According to the list of GPs provided by the HSE this week, to date, Dromahair is the only area not covered by the Free GP for Under Sixes scheme. This list takes into account doctors that currently accept medical cards, not private doctor services. The Free scheme includes home visits and out of hours GPs.
When asked to comment on his decision not to register for the scheme at this time, Dromahair’s Dr Gerry Ballantyne had “no comment;” his assistant said he was “too busy.” If a doctor does not sign up, parents will have to travel outside of the village to avail of the free service. Online applications for the scheme opened on Monday, June 15. There was so much interest in the scheme that the website www.gpvisitcard.ie run by the HSE was unavailable for most of Monday morning due to heavy traffic, it is now fully functional. Parents can also register by post using a form downloadable from the same website.
The online applications needs the child and parent’s PPS, DOB, name and address. Applicants can then choose a registered doctor.
Doctors registered for the scheme by June 15 are Dr Sean Bourke, Ballinamore, Dr Johnathan Egan, Dr Trish Noonan, Dr David and Dr Kieran Greene at the Medical Centre, Carrick-on-Shannon, Dr Padraic Fallon Inver Geal, Carrick-on-Shannon, Dr Antoinette Gregan, Carrigallen, Dr Declan Loftus, Drumshanbo, Dr Aidan Mackey, Manorhamilton and Dr Helena Traskowsna Fango, Mohill.
Doctors who have not registered locally, still have time to add their name to the HSE list.
Patient registration details are sent to the GP of choice, who must accept the child or children. Once it has been confirmed, a GP Visit Card will be issued. If the GP is not accepting electronic registrations, the parent will need to print the attachment to the email and bring it to the GP for them to complete. The GP Visit Card does not cover the cost of medications or hospital charges. Children currently covered by a medical card or GP visit card are automatically registered.