While the health budget promises free GP care and dental care for certain younger groups, these changes will not come into effect until September.

The free GP care proposal has been well flagged previously and it will require negotiations with the Irish Medical Organisation.

Similarly talks will be needed with the Irish Dental Association.

Health has received its highest allocation ever - €17.4bn in day to day spending.

Capital spending is on top of that.

So the total health budget for next year will be over €18bn.

To help reduce waiting lists, the National Treatment Purchase Fund will get an extra €25m bringing the fund to €100m.

A large proportion of the extra health funding will be for pay increases, arising mainly from the deal with nurses and midwives.

Prescription charges are to be reduced for all people by 50 cent.

The monthly threshold for the Drug Payment Scheme will be reduced by €10 a month, so people will pay a maximum of €114 a month for medicines from September.

Medical card income thresholds for people over 70 are being increased by €50 for a single person, or €150 for a couple per week. 

Extra money is also being provided for cancer, maternity and dementia strategies.

There will be a supplementary health budget this year of €335m to deal with Health Service Executive overspending.