Analysis

Saturday 26 July 2014

Ministers keep their promises to a minimum

Eilish O'Regan

Published 21/05/2014|02:30

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09/04/2014 Minister For Health James Reilly TD at ...09/04/2014 Minister For Health James Reilly TD at Leinster House, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
09/04/2014 Minister For Health James Reilly TD at ...09/04/2014 Minister For Health James Reilly TD at Leinster House, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

THE tone was more compassionate than we have been hearing up to now and the language was definitely more sympathetic.

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But neither Health Minister James Reilly nor Finance Minister Michael Noonan could match their condolence for thousands who lost medical cards with concrete pledges of change.

While both ministers acknowledged the need to "address" the distress which the loss of medical cards has caused, they were at pains not to make any hasty promises.

But both men know any meaningful change in the issuing of expensive medical cards could de-stabilise the finances of the health service even further at a time when the Health Service Executive (HSE) is sinking deeper into the red.

No sooner had Dr Reilly said options to deal with the medical card debacle were being looked at than he was commenting on the black hole of some €108m which the HSE has to fill.

It's little wonder both men are keeping their predictions on medical cards hazy.

Irish Independent

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