Politics

Thursday 31 July 2014

Taoiseach: People who were unable to respond to HSE’s controversial review may see their medical cards returned

Philip Ryan

Published 18/06/2014|13:09

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

PEOPLE who lost medicals cards because they were unable to respond to the HSE’s controversial review may see their cards returned.

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny said people with long term conditions who did not respond to the audit will be considered by the HSE which is working “flat out” to return cards within the next four weeks.

“Those who couldn’t respond to the review will be taken into account,” he said.

However, expenses incurred by people with serious medical conditions after being stripped of cards will not be reimbursed.

Health Minister James Reilly yesterday announced a €13m cabinet-approved fund had been allocated to the HSE to return medical cards taken from people with serious illnesses.

Around 15,300 medical cards are due to be restored in the coming weeks.

The Taoiseach told the Dail 5,145 had cards taken from them because they did not respond to the HSE review.

The new fund covers people who had cards taken from them between July 1, 2011 and May 31, 2014.

However, people refused new medical cards during that period will not have their situation reviewed.

Neither will people who have been recently diagnosed with conditions similar to those who had cards taken from them.

Fianna Fail Leader Micheál Martin said the Government’s u-turn on medical cards was full of “inconsistencies and incoherence”.

Sinn Fein’s health spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin described the move as a “smoke screen” to hide the Government’s embarrassment.

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