Minister of State with Responsibility for Primary Care Alex White has said he is very happy to negotiate with the Irish Medical Organisation on the scope and content of the contract for the provision of free GP care to children under six.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr White also said he was happy to have serious and meaningful engagement with doctors in relation to the fee structure for the scheme.

However, he said the ultimate setting of the fee must remain a matter for the Minister for Health.

Mr White said this would not be "by dictat" and GPs would have an input.

Mr White said he had not been able to persuade the IMO or any of the representative bodies to meet him to discuss the draft contract for the scheme, which was published in January.

However, he added that he felt things could move forward on the basis of having a meeting about how to proceed, and "having talks about talks."

Mr White said he had written again to the IMO this week proposing that, and he was hopeful it would respond in a positive way.