Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (799)

Pádraig MacLochlainn


799. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow is having a medical card reviewed so soon after being reviewed and reissued with a card late last year; the way a person living with polio poliomyelitis which left them paralysed from the waist down and a full-time wheelchair user as well as post-polio syndrome, scoliosis of the spine for which they had a spinal and lumbar fusion and resulting chronic back pain, scleroderma, which is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease, and Raynaud's disease, can not automatically be entitled to a medical card. [22644/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the provisions of the Health Acts, medical cards are provided to persons who are, in the opinion of the Health Service Executive, unable without undue hardship to arrange GP services for themselves and their dependants. Under the legislation, medical card entitlement is not granted on the basis of a particular disease or illness. However, if an applicant's means are above the financial thresholds as set out in the national guidelines, the HSE routinely examines for indications of medical or social circumstances which might result in undue financial hardship in arranging medical services and, exercising discretion, may grant eligibility for a medical card on this basis.

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine the particulars of this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible. The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has issued to Oireachtas members.