Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (672)

Jack Chambers

Question:

672. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health his plans to raise the financial threshold in order that families have greater access to medical cards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13081/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive (HSE) issues income guidelines to assist in determining entitlement to medical cards / GP visit cards. Any revision to the income thresholds must have regard for Government policy, increases in the Consumer Price Index and other issues which may be relevant.

While there are no plans at present to revise the income thresholds for medical cards, it is vitally important that the medical card system is responsive and sensitive to people's needs. In that regard my Department keeps medical card issues, including existing thresholds under constant review. It should be noted that the gross medical card limits for the over 70's are reviewed annually in line with the Consumer Price Index.

The Deputy may be aware that Budget 2019 made provision for a 10% increase across all GP visit card thresholds. This measure will be implemented on 1st April 2019.