Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services.
Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual. However, I can confirm that in relation to the case raised by the Deputy, the HSE has informed that a medical card has now been issued to the person concerned.
I wish to note that I recognise the importance of having a medical card application process that is timely and more sensitive to people’s needs, especially arrangements relating to the issuing of medical cards on a discretionary basis. There will of course be circumstances where the processing of applications may be delayed, which can be for a number of reasons, however I understand that the HSE has put in place a number of new measures which is orientated towards improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the medical card application process. I am committed to ensuring that the medical card system is as responsive as possible to the circumstances of people with significant medical needs and I will keep the operational aspects under review.