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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 30 September, 2014

‘It is a balancing act’: Reilly apologises over medical card problems

The Health Minister was speaking as the HSE launched a public information campaign today in response to recent problems


YouTube: Hugh O’Connell

HEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly has apologised to those distressed by problems with their medical cards that have been highlighted in recent weeks.

The Minister was speaking today as the HSE launched a new public information campaign in response to recent problems.

Reilly acknowledged that there has been a “lack of clarity” about eligibility criteria and said his Department and the HSE “have to hold ourselves culpable for that”.

He apologised to those who have been distressed by the issue and said that in cases where cards were incorrectly refused it was often because the information was available locally but not nationally where a decision is made.

“I know there were some very distressing cases and I apologise to those who have been distressed by this,” he said.

However he added that there is a balancing act between ensuring people who need cards gets them and those who are not entitled to the cards do not get them.

“It is a balancing act and what we have to do, as a service orientated towards patients as opposed to a system that’s just set about saving money, is to ensure that patients and citizens in need of service and entitled to a service get that service,” he said.

Watch more in the video above

Read: HSE gets more time to come up with its service plan for next year

Read: Public information campaign launched to address ‘confusion’ over medical cards

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