Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (566)

Finian McGrath

Question:

566. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health the position regarding a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24736/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I understand that from the Deputy's correspondence that, after appeal, the original HSE decision not to award a medical card was upheld.

While I appreciate the situation, under the legislation, determination of eligibility for a medical card is the responsibility of the HSE and, as I have no role in this process, it would be inappropriate for me to interfere.

The Government has decided to develop a new policy framework for eligibility for the award of medical cards to take account of on-going medical conditions. The HSE has established an Expert Panel to examine the range of conditions that should be considered as a basis of eligibility and has been asked to make an early report to Government.

In this context, the HSE has decided to suspend reviews of medical cards where discretion had been exercised to take account of medical circumstances, pending the outcome of this process. This includes people who are currently in the appeals process. The HSE has extended eligibility of the individuals concerned, who are in the process of being advised in the normal way.

The Government is examining how best to address the situation of persons with serious medical conditions who had been issued with a medical card on a discretionary basis, but who have already completed the review process (and appeal process, as relevant) and who are not eligible to retain that card. The Government is examining the most effective and timely way of progressing such change.