Nearly 100 children with Down Syndrome have lost their discretionary medical cards in the last year, according to a survey.
The survey by Down Syndrome Ireland this week shows many lost the cards despite having various conditions which left them with medical bills.
A spokeswoman pointed out that about half of all people with Down Syndrome are born with a heart defect.
Gastrointestinal conditions are also commonly associated with Down Syndrome as are certain types of cancer, hearing loss, cervical spine instability and visual impairment.
"Most children with Down Syndrome attend weekly speech and language therapy sessions, the cost of which doubles at the loss of medical cards. Weekly occupational therapy sessions also cost in the region of €50 a week.
"Many parents of children with Down Syndrome need to visit a GP almost weekly to manage their children's medical conditions, at a cost of €65 each time."