Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (572)

Tony McLoughlin


572. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Health on reaching the age of 23 years a full time dependant student (details supplied) in County Sligo with medical needs was automatically removed from the family drug payment card, they cannot apply for a medical card in their own right until they are 25 years; the action being taken to overcome this anomaly and the reason a full-time dependant student cannot remain on the family DPS after 23 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12901/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Medical Card Scheme, a person between the ages of 16 and 25 years, who is a dependant of a person who does not have a medical card, will only be provided with a medical card if the HSE assesses that it should be provided to avoid undue hardship to that person. This is set out in the Health Services (No 3) Regulations 1983 (S.I. No. 381 of 1983).

Under the Drugs Payment Scheme (DPS), an individual or family only has to pay €144 each month for approved prescribed drugs, medicines and certain appliances for use by that person or his or her family in that month. The definition of a family for this Scheme is an adult, their spouse, and any children under 18 years. Dependants over 18 years and under 23 years who are in full time education may also be included.

There are no plans to review the DPS age limit.