Thursday 25 December 2014

'It's really like a bit of a mirage. There is nothing concrete in it'

Emma Jane Hade

Published 30/05/2014 | 02:30

Eve North from Cahirciveen, Co Kerry, whose medical card was cancelled.
Karen North from Cahirciveen, Co Kerry, with her daughter, Eve, whose medical card was cancelled.

THE mother of a young girl with Down Syndrome who had her medical card taken from her, just months after she had heart surgery, said she remains sceptical of the announcement of the halting of card reviews.

Kerry resident Karen North said that she was "not a bit surprised" at yesterday's announcement from the Government, which she thinks "does nothing for all the people who are left in a horrendous situation who need medical cards badly for their children".

The mother-of-three told the Irish Independent that her daughter Eve's (12) medical card was put up for review last September and they still have not been issued a new one, despite the decision being appealed twice.

Ms North said she believes the Government's announcement of a panel to assess medical needs rather than finances is "going to be a very long way down the road".

"If it happens, it will be fantastic. It's really like a bit of a mirage at the moment. There is nothing concrete in it," she added.

She said her daughter had held the card since birth, and several years ago the reviews became more frequent, and they were consistently issued cards for just six months or a year.

The dedicated mother explained how her daughter suffers from a number of medical complications due to her lifelong condition, including low muscle tone.

Medication

"She doesn't walk very far so she has a wheelchair, and apart from that she would use bowel medication. And she would always be chesty and constantly on antibiotics," she explained.

"She had heart surgery in 2012, which corrected lots of health problems for her."

She described the decision by the HSE to review, and ultimately not return, her daughter's medical card last year as "an all-time low" and "an insult".

Irish Independent

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