The Tánaiste and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin TD, welcomed the rollout of private secondary medical care to the enlisted personnel of the Permanent Defence Force. The Tánaiste had previously announced that the initiative had been agreed in principle at the PDFORRA Annual Delegate Conference in May 2023. Heretofore, private medical care was only available to Commissioned Officers.
The measure, a commitment in the Programme for Government and key recommendation from the Commission on Defence Forces report, will allow all personnel to avail of referrals to private consultants, as deemed clinically necessary by an examining Medical Officer.
In welcoming the full rollout of the initiative, the Tánaiste said, “I am delighted to announce the provision of private secondary medical care to all Permanent Defence Force ranks with effect from today. This initiative, which is in addition to the comprehensive package of primary healthcare benefits already available to all members, will be of great benefit to all personnel in the Permanent Defence Force. The roll out continues the significant progress being made in making a career in our Defence Forces exciting and rewarding.”
The Tánaiste acknowledged the work of Department and Defence Forces personnel in recent months in developing this initiative, as well as the cooperation of Minister Paschal Donohoe, and the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform.
The Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Lt General Sean Clancy added, “the extension of private medical care to all members of Óglaigh na hÉireann demonstrates our commitment to the health and well-being of our greatest asset – our people. It will support our soldiers, sailors and aircrew being operationally ready to fulfil the tasks assigned by Government. This announcement demonstrates real progress in implementing the recommendations of the Commission on the Defence Forces.”