Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (663)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

663. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health if he will consider the introduction of a minium period of one year without further review for medical card holders who have had successful medical card appeals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31728/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive operates under the legislative framework of the Health Act of 1970, as subsequently amended. In the interest of probity, the HSE is obliged to ensure that a person’s eligibility is correctly recorded in line with the eligibility legislation and the national guidelines. The HSE aims to ensure that every person who is entitled to the medical card schemes is given the opportunity to avail of their entitlement.

The standard procedure for the review of medical cards, including those granted following appeal, for persons aged 66 years or older is that their medical card will be reviewed every 4 years. For persons under the age of 66 years, the length of validity of a medical card is 3 years. Depending on the individual's circumstances, it may be issued for a shorter period. Medical cards awarded on a discretionary basis are valid for two to three years, in line with general medical cards/GP Visit Cards.

If an individual's circumstances change, he/she must inform the HSE, as he/she may no longer be eligible. In addition to the standard assessment and review processes, random audits of eligibility will also be undertaken by the HSE on an on-going basis. If selected for review under this process, the Medical Card holder will be informed and requested to submit up to date income details.