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Alex White to meet with medical card campaigners this afternoon

The parents want reassurance those who had their cards removed before the announcement yesterday will get them back.

Peter Fitzpatrick with Orlagh,aged 10 months, outside Government Buildings during a Our Children's Health campaign held a protest outside Government buildings.
Peter Fitzpatrick with Orlagh,aged 10 months, outside Government Buildings during a Our Children's Health campaign held a protest outside Government buildings.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE JUNIOR MINISTER for Health is due to meet with the Our Children’s Health campaign this afternoon.

Alex White and the campaigners, many of whom are families who have struggled to hold on to their discretionary medical cards, are to discuss the recent announcement of the suspension of the discretionary medical card review.

White agreed to meet with the group yesterday, after Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the parents that he would do something to fix the issue.

Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s meeting, Peter Fitzpatrick said that the group welcomed the “fundamental shift in policy”.

Questions for the junior minister

However, he said that parents were still concerned.

“It is great to see that changes will be made to allocate discretionary cards on the terms of medical need rather than financial need,” he said, but said there will still questions to be answered.

“We would be very concerned about the families that have already lost their discretionary medical cards under the review. Many people have been without their discretionary medical card for a year, two years or more – are they going to get their card reinstated,” he asked.

“We want reassurances that they will get them back,” said Fitzpatrick.

“Will those that had their cards removed have their cases re-opened? These are questions we will be asking Minister White,” he said.

He said that there were also questions to be answered in relation to the timeline and when all these policy changes will take place.

“Sick children are still sick, so this needs to be fast-tracked,” concluded Fitzpatrick.

Read: Medical card review suspension does not cover families where card has already been revoked>

Read: Alex White denies presiding over medical card review, says it was a joint decision>

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