Cowen prepared to change medical card scheme

The Taoiseach has intervened in an effort to quell the controversy surrounding the introduction of means-testing for medical cards.

Last night Wicklow backbencher Joe Behan resigned from Fianna Fáil over the Budget decision to end automatic entitlement to medical cards for those over 70 years of age and backbench Green party deputies also called for a re-think.

However Brian Cowen is refusing to back down on the issue.

The Taoiseach has said a committee to examine how the proposal can be restructured will be established so that more acceptable arrangements can be found.

Mr Cowen said: "We have to get the savings - the country is still going to be spending €9m more per week than it receives in tax revenue next year.

"Once we get the savings I’m quite prepared to be creative and pragmatic about getting a solution that might be more widely acceptable."

More on this topic

Age Action Ireland threatens protests against proposed medical card cutsAge Action Ireland threatens protests against proposed medical card cuts

TDs to investigate backlog in issuing of medical cardsTDs to investigate backlog in issuing of medical cards

Government urged to scrap some medical cards

HSE launches new website to check medical card eligibility

More in this Section

'Significant fire' at Dublin industrial estate put out after gas main ruptures'Significant fire' at Dublin industrial estate put out after gas main ruptures

€250k Lotto Plus 2 draw won€250k Lotto Plus 2 draw won

Seizure of container load of smuggled cigarettes in Co Armagh leads to cross-border investigation Seizure of container load of smuggled cigarettes in Co Armagh leads to cross-border investigation

National Treatment Purchase Fund must be extended, Fianna Fáil say, as 200k wait for scansNational Treatment Purchase Fund must be extended, Fianna Fáil say, as 200k wait for scans


Lifestyle

Fearless is a slick new documentary airing next Monday on RTÉ 1 which follows Cork native and editor-in-chief of US Glamour, Samantha Barry, in the run up to the 29th Glamour Women of the Year Awards. Ruth O’Connor speaks to Barry about her editorship of one of Condé Nast's most important media outlets.The fearless Samantha Barry: From Ballincollig in Cork to editor of Glamour

This time last year Whiddy Island in West Cork was bustling with people who had caught the ferry for the short trip from Bantry to ramble the island’s boreens as part of the Bantry Walking Festival. Not so this year.Islands of Ireland: Whiddy in the same boat

Gomera is always replete with stories to tell, and this week is no exception.Damien Enright: Merciless predation on the beaches of Gomera

Denis Summers-Smith, the sparrow expert, died on the 5th of May last at the age of 99.Richard Collins: Adaptable sparrow — the ultimate home bird

More From The Irish Examiner