Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (567)

Billy Timmins

Question:

567. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a breakdown of the cost of the average medical card, including the direct cost to the general practitioner; a breakdown of the indirect cost, to include the cost of drugs and other schemes which the medical card permits exemption; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24752/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Given the large number of medical card holders, GP visit card holders, the variety of payment arrangements and the variation in drug costs, a single average annual cost figure in respect of the medical card and GP visit card is not a sufficiently refined measure for analysis.

The HSE has estimated that the average cost of services per eligible cardholder in 2012 was around €1,026. This comprises of payment of an average of €243 per cardholder to GPs and payment to pharmacists of €783 per person who availed of drugs.

The HSE has stated that the cost of a medical card is heavily dependent on the age of the cardholder and can range from €200 for a cardholder aged 16 to 44 as compared to €2,000 for a person aged over 70. The average cost of a medical card in any year is dependent on the mix of cardholders.

The additional information requested by the Deputy is not available