Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (775, 776)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

782 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the current waiting time for an application for a medical card and a general practitioner card; and the number of applicants currently waiting for same to be processed. [34799/12]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

783 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the current waiting time for an application for medical card appeal; the number of applicants currently waiting for same to be assessed and a decision made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34800/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 782 and 783 together.

A number of difficulties arose with the processing of medical cards at the HSE centralised application office in the final quarter of last year, which gave rise to a very large backlog and long delays for both new applicants and medical card renewals. While a number of customer service and communication issues remain to be addressed, the HSE has been making good progress in eliminating the backlog and preventing further backlogs occurring. A backlog of 58,000 applications from last year has been completely cleared. The HSE can receive up to 50,000 applications per month and, currently, over 95% of complete applications are processed within 15 days.

The information sought by the Deputy regarding figures for numbers of medical card appeals is not readily available. However, I have asked the Health Service Executive to supply this information to me and I will forward it to the Deputy as soon as possible.