Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said it will not be easy to convince all GPs to sign up to the new €67 million euro deal for free GP care for under six-year-olds.

He told GPs at the Annual General Meeting of the Irish Medical Organisation, in Kilkenny, that the overall deal would be a relief to many young families and pensioners.

The Minister said the under sixes scheme and deal was the widest extension of eligibility in health since the medical card scheme was introduced almost 50 years ago.

Mr Varadkar said that some elements of the new GP under sixes contract have to be 'tweaked' but it will issue shortly.

From around June, parents will be able to register their child online, giving their PPS number, basic details but no documentation will be needed.

Mr Varadkar said that the cuts imposed on doctors will be reversed.

But he said it will not be a return to the status quo and in return, doctors will have to give on productivity and practices.

The two hour debate, which was held in closed session, included a presentation on the details of the deal announced by the IMO on Thursday.

There will be no ballot of GPs on the contract; each doctor will have to decide on whether or not to accept it. 

Minister Varadkar said GPs were doing the right thing for general practice and for patients and history will remember them for it.

Mr Varadkar said the GP deal cost the Government more than it was thought it would.

During questions from the floor, GPs said a little was being given but not enough. Some said it was a first step.

Mr Varadkar is to meet GPs on a one to one basis today.

Speaking to RTÉ News earlier, IMO President, Dr Ray Walley said the union had the right to go into closed session and insisted it had nothing to hide.

He also said he was respecting members.

The AGM conference brochure did not indicate that the national GP meeting session would be partly shut to the media.