Parents who cannot afford to take their children to the
doctor will benefit from free GP visits and prescriptions
announced in the Budget, Silverstream School principal
Elizabeth Cleverley says.
By taking children to the doctor at the earliest possible
opportunity, children were more likely to get well quickly.
She had talked to parents at the Mosgiel school about the
cost of doctors' fees and pharmacy costs, Miss Cleverley
''Parents will say: 'We can't afford to'.
''They'll see it out, rather than going to the doctor.''
However, some in the medical profession are eyeing the policy
Mosgiel Health Centre GP Dr Hywel Lloyd said the programme
must be adequately funded to ensure it proved a success.
''Historically, there have been concerns expressed by the
profession that increases in funding over time have not
matched the ever-increasing costs of providing quality
primary care services.
''The remuneration will have to adequately reimburse current
patient co-payments and also cover the increase in demand for
services the policy will create.''
Access to free medical attention improved health outcomes and
reduced inequality, Dr Lloyd said.
''We all desire improved healthcare for all.''
A press release from Health Minister Tony Ryall said the new
policy would mean an extra 25,200 southern children could go
to the doctor free.
At present, doctors' visits are free for children under 6.