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Medical Cards

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 6 July 2021

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Ceisteanna (528)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

528. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health if he will urgently intervene and apply extensions to any lapsed or expired medical cards that were due for renewal recently until such time that the cyber-security issues have been resolved and the medical card system is back in operation to avoid any issues such as payments for general practitioner visits or prescriptions for those on low incomes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29792/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As a result of the recent cyber-attack on the HSE, the National Medical Card Unit (NMCU) in the Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) was temporarily unable to facilitate online medical or GP visit card applications. However, I am pleased to confirm that the NMCU have now successfully restored web-enabled services. Medical and GP visit card applications can once again be submitted online or alternatively by post to the NMCU.

It is also recognised that the cyber-attack had an impact on the review process, PCRS therefore decided to extend eligibility for certain cohorts. Following the onset of the cyber-attack any individual who had not engaged in the review process for medical/GP visit cards, which had an expiry date of 31st May 2021, has had their eligibility extended by 2 months. In addition, individuals who would normally be brought into review in June for cards with an expiry date of 31st August have had their eligibility extended for an additional 2 months (until 31st Oct). This temporary measure has ensured continued eligibility for individuals, i.e. continued access to GP care and prescribed medication, during an unprecedented cyber-attack on the health service.

As web-enabled services have now been restored, the normal eligibility review process has resumed for cohorts holding cards with an expiry date of September 30th or later. Individuals who may have queries about an application/eligibility status can also contact the NMCU helpline, which is fully operational on 1890 252 919 for further information and assistance.

Question No. 529 answered with Question No. 510.
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