Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions (154)

Timmy Dooley


154. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health the position regarding a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare in view of the decision of 17 June 2014, regarding discretionary medical cards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28573/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

In the context of the Government's decision to develop a policy framework for providing eligibility for health services on the basis of medical conditions, the Government recently announced that a medical card or GP visit card is to be issued to a person, with a serious illness, whose discretionary card was refused renewal since the centralisation of medical card assessments.

If the medical card or GP visit card to which the Deputy refers was awarded by way of discretion and was refused renewal in the period from 1 July 2011 to 31 May 2014 following the completion of an eligibility review, a card will issue by the HSE.

The HSE has commenced issuing letters to the persons concerned and this process should be concluded by the first two weeks of July. No action is required on the part of those affected as the HSE will be in contact. If people do not hear from the HSE by mid July, they should contact the HSE on its Lo-Call contact number: 1890 25 29 19. These individuals will be able to access medical card and GP visit card services in the normal manner when they have been advised by the HSE that their medical card or GP visit card is active.

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine the specific query raised 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.