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Dublin: 17 °C Sunday 21 September, 2014

Medical card protest to take place outside Government buildings today… and everyday

Campaign group Our Children’s Health said they will protest every day until the Health Act of 1970 is changed.

Kevin Shorthall and Peter Fitzpatrick from Our Children's Health campaign.
Kevin Shorthall and Peter Fitzpatrick from Our Children's Health campaign.
Image: Our Children's Health campaign

OUR CHILDREN’S HEALTH campaign will hold their first “peaceful” protest outside the gates of Government buildings today.

The group, which only launched last week, are calling on the government to amend the Health Act of 1970 so that any child diagnosed with a serious illness or congenital condition is automatically entitled to a full medical card.

Discretionary medical cards

Figures obtained by TheJournal.ie shows that of those eligible for discretionary medical cards in January 2013 (63,126) just 46,535 now have a discretionary medical card.

Since the launch of their website and petition the group has already managed to collect over 50,000 signatures.

Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White has agreed to a meeting with the group, while both Billy Kelleher of Fianna Fail and Caoimhghín O’Caoláin of Sinn Fein have also agreed to meet and offer support.

Responses

Campaigner Peter Fitzpatrick, who set up the group with is brother-in-law Kevin Shorthall after Kevin’s daughter had to struggle to retain her medical card after being diagnosed with Leukaemia , said they had received an initial acknowledgement from the Minister for Health James Reilly and the Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

However, he said they will await a full response.

As part of their campaign pledge the group said they would be holding lunchtime “Shows of Suport” outside the office of An Taoiseach, Government Buildings, Merrion Street, Dublin 2.

“Tuesday marks the first of our “Shows of Support”. From then on, we will maintain a presence outside Government Buildings every morning the Dail is in session, indefinitely,” they said.

The group said they will be holding a 20 foot banner and are urging people to sign the back of it. They urged people to come and take part in what they say is a “dignified, peaceful campaign”.

The demonstration takes place from 1-2pm.

Read: Over 50,000 sign petition over discretionary medical cards as parents say ‘no more’>

Read: ‘They took the medical card from our little girl. She has Cerebral Palsy and may never walk’>

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