Tuesday 17 September 2019

All-in-one Public Service Card proposed

David QuinnReligious Affairs Correspondent

AN all-in-one 'Public Service Card' that will allow people to dispense with their medical cards, free travel passes, garda age cards etc is the most radical proposal that will be considered by a new group to be established by the Department of Social and Family Affairs.

The top level expert group will be asked to report to the Government on ways of streamlining access to public services.

One initiative that will be looked at is the introduction of a "standardised framework" for a Public Service Card (PSC) which will bring existing cards under "a single branded scheme, reducing the need for public service customers to carry multiple cards".

Currently there are almost five million cards of various kinds in use.

The most common is the Social Services Card for social welfare purposes with 2.3m issued since 1992.

There are a further 1.3m Drugs Payment Refund scheme cards, 767,000 Medical cards, 100,000 Garda age cards, and 580,000 Social Welfare Free Travel passes in circulation.

The Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mrs Mary Coughlan, said the card will make access to public services easier.

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