Draft report to recommend free GP care for all within the next five years

A draft report due to be published next month is set to recommend free GP care for all, within the next five years.

The leaked report by the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare also calls for legislation to ensure that A&E waiting times are no longer than four hours, and that patients should not wait more than 12 weeks for an operation.

Hospitals could incur fines if they fall short of these targets.

Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall said the report lays out a ten-year plan aimed at surviving changes of government.

"There's a special committee of the Dáil and we've been working away for the last ten months on devising a plan for changing the Irish health system.

"We want to stop health being a political football and we want to move towards a situation where we can have agreement on having a really good quality public health service, similar to what exists in most other European countries."

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