Written Answers. - Medical Card Guidelines.

Michael Ferris

Question:

130 Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for Health whether he has agreed to index link the guidelines for medical cards for 1996; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1774/96]

Limerick East): Under the Health Act, 1970, medical cards are issued to persons who, in the opinion of the Chief Executive Officer of the appropriate health board are unable, without undue hardship, to provide general practitioner services for themselves and their dependants. Income guidelines are drawn up by the chief executive officers of the health boards to assist in the determination of a person's medical card eligibility and these guidelines are revised annually in line with the consumer price index. The guidelines were revised upwards on this basis with effect from 1 January 1996.

The table below sets out the revised income guidelines (figures given relate to gross income less PRSI deduction).

Per week

£

Single person living alone (under 66)

86.50

Single person living alone (66-79)

94.50

Single person living alone (80 or over)

99.00

Single person living with family (under 66)

76.50

Single person living with family (66-79)

81.50

Single person living with family (80 or over)

84.50

Married couple (under 66)

125.50

Married couple (66-79)

140.50

Married couple (80 or over)

147.50

Allowance for each child under 16

15.00

Allowance for other dependants

16.50

Allowance for house expenses: (e.g. rent, mortgage) — figure over

15.00

Allowance for cost of travelling to work:

Cost allowed per week over

13.50