Medical card crisis must be dealt with

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The ongoing crisis with medical cards must be addressed and all cards removed discretionary cards removed from those with lifelong medical conditions, acute illness and disabilities, have to be reinstated immediately say Leitrim’s County Councillors.

Cllr Martin Kenny called for an immediate end to the contact cuts which have come into play over the past two years.

Speaking at the July meeting of Leitrim County Council, Cllr Kenny said that “The criteria for granting discretionary cards must be changed, to focus on need rather than means. This remains a major issue for thousands of people living in fear of having their right to basic medical care being removed in a heartless fashion,” he said.

He proposed that the Council contact the Government and call on them to “properly address the ongoing medical card crisis”.

Cllr Sinead Guckian also put forward a motion calling on the Minister for Health to immediately review the qualifying criteria for the over 70’s medical card pointing out that, in its present format, is “grossly unfair”.

“Currently over 70’s medical card applicants are assessed on their growth income, with no allowance or deductions of reasonable living expenses. Even payments towards their care or medical requirements are not considered when assessing heir eligibility.

“When applicants savings are assessed, the interest rate on their savings is included as part of their calculated income. It would be much fairer if it was calculated at the actual reduced amount they receive, after DIRT tax is deducted,” she said.

Both motions received unanimous support.


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