65,000 pleas for medical cards handed into Dail
Toddler Ryan Gilmartin has helped deliver a petition with 65,000 signatures calling for more discretionary medical cards for seriously ill children.
He and his parents Chris and Nicola handed the petition to Jerry Buttimer, chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Health, at Leinster House on behalf of the Our Children's Health Campaign .
Ryan, who was born with Down Syndrome, a hole in heart and a floppy larynx, suffers from sleep apnoea. He has been admitted eight times to Castlebar Hospital to undergo treatment for pneumonia and collapsed lungs.
He is also prone to convulsions and will require regular medical intervention, aids, appliances, physiotherapy, particularly in his formative years.
Ryan has been refused a medical card three times.
Peter Fitzpatrick, one of the campaign's founders, is now part of the Clinical Advisory Group that has been asked by Health Minister Leo Varadkar to come up with guidelines on how to widen discretion for medical card applicants.