Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Questions (209)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

209. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health the reason that persons with Down's syndrome, which is a lifelong condition, who have medical cards are written to every year for review and not every three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21802/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

All medical cards, including those granted on a discretionary basis, are subject to a periodic review of eligibility to determine continuing eligibility.

Cards are selected for review in advance of the expiration of their eligibility period, i.e. when the "valid to" date on the card is approaching.In addition, cards are selected on a random basis, where the HSE carries out, on an on-going basis, audits of eligibility to ensure that the medical card register is as accurate as possible and that its voted budget is being spent appropriately in the medical card scheme.

The HSE does not have any indicator on its clients’ registers that would identify people with Down's syndrome.

The HSE has a very structured protocol in place for the review process and makes every effort to ensure on-going engagement with clients during this process. If the HSE is made aware that a person has special needs, whether at application or review stage, assistance will be afforded to help that person complete the application whether at application stage or at review stage. The local health office can be contacted on LoCall 1890 252 919 to request this assistance.