Wednesday 13 December 2017

Playing Russian roulette on medical cards, a risk too far

Picture posed. Thinkstock
Picture posed. Thinkstock

The past few weeks have seen much controversy over the removal of discretionary medical cards from children with disabilities and long-term medical conditions, culminating with last week's suspension of the review of medical cards.

However, the savings that would have been achieved from such a move would not appear to justify the inevitable political fallout that ensued.

Last October, one of the health-related measures announced in Budget 2014 was medical card 'probity', which involved a review of medical cards to ensure that people who were no longer entitled to medical cards did not retain them. The initial savings target from this measure was €113m, but this was later reduced to €23m.

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