Written Answers. - Farmers' Eligibility for Medical Cards.

22.

asked the Minister for Health if health boards are advised to use farm accounts as the basis for deciding eligibility of farmers for medical cards, or if the means of farmers are measured on some other basis.

Medical cards are issued to those who, in the opinion of the chief executive officer of the health board concerned, are unable without undue hardship to provide general practitioner services for themselves and their dependants. In assessing eligibility, income from all sources is taken into account. Farm accounts, where these are kept, are examined. If accounts are not kept, income is estimated on the basis of, for example, creamery accounts, stock headage, acreage under tillage and the cost of inputs.