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Stopping of medical card reviews welcomed but government warned "We need a big fix not a quick fix"

The IMO says cards which have been withdrawn should be returned.

Our Children's Health campaign held a protest outside Government buildings this week.
Our Children's Health campaign held a protest outside Government buildings this week.
Image: Leon Farrell via Photocall Ireland

Updated 22:58

TODAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT BY the government to stop the discretionary medical card review process has been widely welcomed.

CEO of the Jack & Jill Foundation Jonathan Irwin said, “We welcome the U turn from government on discretionary medical cards policy and the suspension of these torturous reviews that our families have been going through.

 

These are families with children with life limiting conditions and it’s about time this government admitted that the medical card system is not fit for purpose.

He also added that he still wants to meet Minister Reilly and Minister White to discuss children under Jack and Jill’s wing who have lost their medical card altogether.

“But we need a big fix, not just a quick fix and we will be watching developments carefully and need clarity on new babies coming under the wing of Jack & Jill and how their parents apply for medical cards on their behalf.

We won’t stop this campaign until children with life limiting and life threatening conditions receive their medical card in their own right and automatically, rather than this barbaric system of dragging their parents through means testing.

The Irish Medical Organisation echoed the sentiment from Irwin stating that while they welcome the move to suspend the review “it remains unclear what will happen to people who have lost their card in recent months”.

Chairman of the GP Committee of the IMO, Dr. Ray Walley said “cards which have been withdrawn under this cull should be returned”.

Meanwhile Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher said,

It is extremely regrettable that thousands of families across the country were put through the stress and hardship of having their medical cards withdrawn before the Government finally saw sense today.

He added that “It took the loss of hundreds of council seats to make the government act on the loss of thousands of medical cards”.

Kelleher also questioned if the suspension of medical card reviews is confined to discretionary cards only.

“It is not clear from the Department’s statement today if the suspension of medical card reviews is confined to discretionary cards only.

“Discretionary cards account for just 50,000 of the 1.8 million cards so we need clarification if the other reviews are suspended too”.

Read: Medical card review process to stop immediately>

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