Dáil Éireann - Volume 530 - 20 February, 2001

Written Answers. - General Medical Services Scheme.

264. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the situation regarding the extension of the general medical scheme to the over 70s. [4778/01]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): The budget announcement to give automatic medical card eligibility to all persons aged 70 years or over from 1 July 2001 is consistent with the Government's overall approach to enhancing the position of the elderly in Irish society. The measure is also a logical extension of the three-year doubling of the medical card income limits for that age category, the final phase of which will be effective from 1 March this year.

The Department is concerned to ensure that the budget initiative will be progressed in a timely, effective and agreed manner and, accordingly, has issued an invitation to the Irish Medical Organisation to discuss the matter fully.