Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (167)

Michael Ring


294 Mr. Ring asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if a person who is the holder of a medical card, during an emergency at night is visited by a member of the Westdoc team, if the person has to pay the doctor; the position in relation to emergency call out charges to medical card holders by Westdoc ; if money has to be paid for the visit; the way in which a person can get a refund of his or her money. [25332/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

A medical card holder is entitled to consultations and a range of agreed services free of charge from his or her designated general practitioner. This is the situation whether the services are provided in the surgery during normal surgery hours, in the patient's home or elsewhere provided by that general practitioner or a locum or deputy acting in his or her place at any time. Clinical decisions as to whether a domiciliary visit is warranted are a matter for the doctor involved and the symptoms of the presenting patient.

If the Deputy is aware of a particular case where a medical card holder has been asked for payment, I would be happy to have the matter investigated with the Western Health Board, upon receipt of the relevant details.