Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Questions (224)

Michael Ring

Question:

224. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Health if persons over the age of 16 years can avail of free drugs and medicine to treat mental illness with a long-term illness card; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23961/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Mental Illness (under 16) is one of the illnesses covered under the Long Term Illness Scheme. There are no plans to extend the coverage of mental illness under the Scheme to those who are 16 years of age and over.

Under the Drug Payment Scheme, no individual or family pays more than €144 per calendar month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines. The scheme significantly reduces the cost burden for families and individuals incurring ongoing expenditure on medicines.

In addition, people who cannot, without undue hardship, arrange for the provision of medical services for themselves and their dependants may be entitled to a medical card. In the assessment process, the Health Service Executive can take into account medical costs incurred by an individual or a family. Those who are not eligible for a medical card may still be able to avail of a GP visit card, which covers the cost of GP consultations.