Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (1476)

Thomas P. Broughan


1476. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the measures he is taking in budget 2020 to reduce charges for cancer patients; the estimated cost of removing the prescription charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33137/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Programme for Partnership Government contains a commitment to reduce the cost of medicines by reducing the prescription charge for medical card holders. 

In line with this commitment, in Budget 2019 I announced a reduction in the prescription charge to €1.50, subject to a monthly cap of €15, for all medical card holders over the age of 70. This reduction came into effect on 1 April 2019. 

This reduction followed from my commitment in Budget 2018, where I reduced the prescription charge to €2 for medical card holders aged under 70. 

The estimated cost of abolishing prescription charges for all medical card holders is €82 m.

I intend to consider further proposals for reductions in the prescription charge for medical card holders, in the context of the implementation of the health commitments in the Programme for Government and with regard to the funding available. However, at present I have no plans to reduce prescription charges specifically for medical card holders with a cancer diagnosis.

Question No. 1477 answered with Question No. 1211.