Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 5 Feb 2002

Vol. 547 No. 3

Written Answers. - Medical Cards.

Seán Haughey


222 Mr. Haughey asked the Minister for Health and Children if he has received a submission from the Post Polio Support Group regarding the provision of medical cards for people with this condition; if so, his views on the submission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3246/02]

A submission from the Post Polio Support Group has been received and has been considered in my Department.

At present, there are no proposals to extend automatic eligibility to people affected by this condition. However, people who cannot, without undue hardship, arrange for the provision of medical services for themselves and their dependants may be entitled to a medical card. Eligibility for a medical card is solely a matter for the chief executive officer of the relevant health board to decide. In determining eligibility, the chief executive officer has regard to the applicant's financial circumstances. Health boards use income guidelines to assist in determining eligibility. However, where a person's income exceeds the guidelines, a medical card may be awarded if the chief executive officer considers that the person's medical needs or other circumstances would justify this. Medical cards may also be issued to individual family members on this basis.

In addition, non-medical card holders and people with conditions not covered under the long-term illness scheme can use the drugs payment scheme. Under this scheme, no individual or family unit pays more than €53.33 per calendar month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines.

Seán Haughey


223 Mr. Haughey asked the Minister for Health and Children if medical expenses incurred by people over 70 years of age from 1 July 2001 onwards, and before medical cards were awarded, will be refunded by the health boards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3247/02]

Officials from my Department are at present in active consultation with health boards on this issue and hope to have a resolution shortly. At that stage eligible patients will be able to apply to their local health board for re-imbursement on production of the requisite receipts of payment for approved prescribed medicines.