Deering welcomes suspension of medical card review

30th May, 2014

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has welcomed this week’s news that the review of discretionary medical cards is to be suspended.

“I strongly welcome the suspension of the medical card review which has caused a great deal of upset to so many people. I myself have seen this first hand in my Constituency office, where medical cards were removed from people unnecessarily. There is a great deal of stress involved in trying to get those cards restored to people who need them. I have been bringing this up at our weekly internal Parliamentary Party meetings and very much welcome this announcement.

“The first step in resolving this matter was to acknowledge that there was a problem with the medical card review. There were flaws in the process and the Government and the HSE have now acknowledged that it wasn’t working.

“The second step is to resolve this problem and ensure that people who need medical cards will get them. The Cabinet Sub Committee on Health met this week and decided to develop the policy framework governing medical card eligibility in a manner that will take account of medical conditions. This is a really important move away from assessment criteria emphasising income. It is only right that medical need is taken into account.

“The HSE is now establishing an expert panel to examine the range of conditions that should be brought into consideration. This process will include the development of a new legislative framework as necessary. I firmly believe that this needs to happen sooner rather than later and I look forward to working closely on this in Dáil Éireann to ensure that all those who need medical cards will get them.”