Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Questions (38)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

38. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health the number of discretionary medical cards that have been taken off persons by the Health Service Executive in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21285/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As of 1 April 2014, 87,826 persons in County Donegal held medical card eligibility. Of that figure, 1,831 medical cards were granted involving discretion, where medical or social circumstances indicated financial hardship in arranging GP services. At 1 April 2013, 90,812 persons held medical card eligibility and, of this figure, 1,872 were granted involving discretion.

Eligibility for a medical card only exists for so long as a person continues to meet the criteria set out in the Health Acts. All medical card and GP visit card holders are subject to a periodic review to determine continuing eligibility. There is an element of "churn" involved in card numbers in any time period, as clients can lose eligibility for a period of time due to non-response, etc., which is subsequently restored following the client's appropriate engagement with the HSE.

The particular information sought by the Deputy 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.