Tallaght Councillor Charlie O’Connor has confirmed that Fianna Fáil will scrap hefty prescription charges and significantly improve access to community healthcare across Dublin South West.
Speaking at the launch of the Fianna Fáil Health Policy, Charlie also called for the expansion of free GP care to ensure that people who cannot afford it and people with chronic illnesses all have access to free primary care.
“The health service is being taken in a dangerous direction, with hospital waiting lists at record highs, overcrowding out of control and far too many people across Dublin South West not getting the healthcare they need in time. We need to start making patients, not politics, the priority of the health service,” said Cllr O’Connor, a member of the Fianna Fáil Health Policy Committee.
“What we need is high quality local healthcare here in Tallaght and across Dublin South West to ensure that people with chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma, arthritis, cancer and heart disease can get expert treatment locally rather than having to go into hospital for their day-to-day care. We also need to do more screening and testing at a local level so we can catch illnesses at an earlier stage and keep people out of hospital.
“So many older people, families and people with chronic illnesses contact me on a weekly basis about their struggle to afford healthcare and the medicines that they need. Prescription charges, which this Government has increased 5 fold over the past 4 years, must be scrapped. Fianna Fáil will abolish the €2.50 prescription charge over two years and reduce the threshold for the Drug Payment Scheme to €120 a month. We also want to strengthen the role of pharmacists so that people can go to their local chemist, instead of the doctor, for vaccinations and treatment for minor ailments.
“Our plan is about ensuring much greater access to quality care for everyone here in Tallaght, and reducing the burden on Tallaght Hospital so that people in need of acute care are not forced to wait and can get the treatment they need quicker.”