Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has said that the reforms to the medical card system will result in a medical card system which is more sensitive to the health and financial issues faced by people and their families.
“The reforms introduced today will lead to a fairer, more sensitive medical card system. It will ensure that people with serious illnesses will get access to the care that they need.
“This reformed medical card system will still use income as its main criteria, however it will show greater flexibility to people with a serious and financially onerous medical condition who would not normally qualify for a medical card. People with a serious illness who hold a discretionary card will retain their card up to the introduction of these reforms.
“Importantly from now on, people with terminal illnesses will no longer face the prospect of having their medical cards reviewed.
“The medical card scheme had, in the last fifteen years in particular, become too inflexible. The HSE will now to develop a more simplem single, integrated process for people to apply for a medical card, a GP visit card, the Long-Term Illness scheme, and the Drugs Payment Scheme. I welcome that access points are being established in health offices around the country to help people to apply for a medical card.
“These reforms will help make the system more accessible and understandable to people. Most importantly, it will result in a medical card system which is more sensitive to the health and financial issues faced by individuals and their families.”