Fine Gael TD, Frank Feighan, has welcomed the announcement by the Minister of State for Health, Roisín Shorthall, that medical cards will be awarded, without means testing, in emergency applications made by a GP on a patient’s behalf.
Deputy Feighan went on to say that this will assist community services such hospice home care teams and those with chronic medical conditions.
“By the Minister’s own admission, there have been difficulties associated with the issuing of medical cards since the system was centralised last year,” he said noting that Minister Shorthall had pointed to the end of April as the target date for these issues to be fully dealt with.
“The Minister also confirmed that emergency medical card applications, made by a GP on behalf of a patient, will be awarded without means testing which is a very welcome development. In our pre-election manifesto, Fine Gael committed to speeding up the medical card application process for people with terminal illnesses, promising also to give consideration to abandoning the medical card means test for people with terminal illnesses. I am delighted that this commitment has now been deliver on,” he aid.
“The strict criteria around means testing for medical cards have reportedly resulted in a number of applications being delayed or returned due to insufficient information being supplied. This has created significant difficulties, especially for those with chronic illness or the terminally ill.
“The Minister’s assurance that emergency applications will be processed without question will come as a relief to many. It will also assist local community services such as hospice home care teams to care for those most in need in a timely and efficient manner.”