Tuesday 23 January 2018

Medical cards will be given to an additional 10,000 children under new programme for government

Minister of State for Training and Skills: John Halligan
Minister of State for Training and Skills: John Halligan
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Medical cards will be given to an additional 10,000 children under the terms of the new Programme for Government, independent.ie can reveal.

The programme says a Clinical Advisory Group will be asked to examine the guidelines for awarding medical cards for patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

Funding will be increased for homecare packages and home help every year, the document states.

The cost of medicine will be “significantly” reduced by changes to the Drugs Payment scheme and prescription charges for medical card holders will be slashed.

New hospices will be opened in Wicklow, Waterford, Mayo and Kerry, and in the Midlands and North East.

Legislation will be introduced in the areas of surrogacy and human re-production.

New laws relating to family consent and an opt-out register for organ donations will be be brought in by the end of 2017.

As previously flagged, it is aimed to reduce waiting times for Emergency Departments to a maximum of six hours.

There is also a significant section in the document in relation to the cardiac unit in Waterford General Hospital. Independent TD John Halligan has called for the unit to operate on a 24 hour basis.

The document states that the hospital will be asked to review extending opening hours.

In relation to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, the document states the Government will “immediately proceed to the design and planning stage for a dedicated Cystic Fibrosis Unit”. It states the measure will be included in the 2017 Capital plan.

Independent TD Finian McGrath has said his support for Enda Kenny hinges on the measure being agreed.

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