HEALTH Minister Dr James Reilly has reiterated commitments that no-one who is entitled to a medical card will be denied free healthcare.
Thousands of elderly, disabled and chronically ill people fear they will lose their full entitlements as the embattled minister attempts to cut 113 million euro through a review of cardholders.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has launched a public relations drive after it claimed there was a lot of confusion about cuts to the scheme.
"No one who is entitled to a medical card need worry," Dr Reilly said.
Among the Budget medical card crackdowns are plans to take the free healthcare off the unemployed immediately after they find work and moving from automatic entitlement to an income threshold for over-70s to medical cards.
There were approximately 1.89 million people with medical cards ahead of the cuts.
About 35,000 pensioners are expected to lose their cards while hundreds of other concerned patients and parents have flooded radio shows since the budget with complaints that they have already lost their full entitlements as long-standing eligibility policies are enforced.
A new information drive to explain who is eligible and who is facing losing their medical card has been put together by the HSE in a video and also detail online on medicalcard.ie, in booklets, adverts in national newspapers, by upgrading information lines and updating support groups like Age Action and Downs Syndrome Ireland.
Dr Reilly said people need full information around medical cards.
"They are naturally worried and become anxious when they can't get full access to all the facts they need," said Dr Reilly.
"I welcome this major campaign being rolled out by the HSE over the coming weeks which I hope will help explain clearly people's entitlements and may ease the fears of those who have been worried unnecessarily."
He added: "Despite the significant savings to be made by the HSE in the year ahead, nobody who is entitled to a medical card will lose it or be refused one."