More children and adults will be able to benefit from free GP visits, under new plans that will benefit half a million people.
From next month, children aged six and seven will be able to avail of the free GP visit card.
Under the proposals being brought before Cabinet ministers today, free GP visits will also be offered to adults whose household income is up to €47,000.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, says this is a move towards universal healthcare.
"There are many in the middle who simply cannot afford this, and we don't want a situation where people put off going to see their GP.
"So this is a really important measure for half a million men, women, and children.
"It'll be in two parts. So it includes now children aged six and seven, all children aged six and seven, and it includes, uh, up to the median household income [of €47,000]".