Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Ceisteanna (61)

Jack Wall

Ceist:

173 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Health and Children the total estimated cost of extending medical card eligibility to children under 15 years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1918/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health and Children)

My Department has not estimated the cost of extending medical card coverage to children under 15 years of age. The health strategy includes a commitment that significant improvements will be made in the medical card income guidelines to increase the number of persons on low income who are eligible for it and to give priority to families with children, especially children with a disability. This measure should be viewed in the broader context of the strategy's emphasis on fairness and its stated objective of reducing health inequalities in our society. I regret that it is not possible to meet this commitment this year due to the prevailing budgetary situation. However, the Government remains committed to the introduction of the necessary changes within its lifetime and the matter will be kept under review

Question No. 174 answered with QuestionNo. 161.
Question No. 175 answered with QuestionNo. 170.