No changes to medical cards for cancer patients, HSE head claims

The new head of the HSE claims there have been no changes to medical cards for cancer patients.

Tony O'Brien says it is not true to say that some cancer patients who previously had medical cards could lose them.

The new director-general says any cancer patient who does not already qualify for a medical card can still apply for a discretionary card.

The Minister for Health, James Reilly, previously said it would be up to individual doctors to determine whether a patient should be given a medical card.

"The guidelines for the consideration of discretion have not changed in the centralisation of medical card processing," Mr O'Brien said.

"Since the numbers of medical cards is higher than ever, it is incorrect to conclude that because discretion has been involved in less cases, medical cards are harder to get."

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