Sinn Féin: We need mandatory review of the Long-Term Illness Scheme

Sinn Féin health spokeswoman Louise O’Reilly

Calls for a mandatory review of the Long-Term Illness Scheme have been made to ensure that patients get the support and care they require.

Sinn Féin has published a bill that would ensure three-year reviews into the effectiveness of the scheme, so that changes, upgrades, and additions can be made for those with long-term illnesses.

The scheme currently provides a range of drugs, medicines, and surgical appliances, without charge, to people suffering from long-term diseases or disabilities.

Louise O’Reilly, Sinn Féin’s health spokeswoman, said the scheme has been a great success and aids thousands of people across the country. However, she said many people cannot access it.

“People want, and need, to have their conditions included in the scheme,” she said. “It’s a real barrier for people accessing medicines, accessing appliances, and, indeed, sometimes even accessing diagnostics.”

She said there has not been an addition to the scheme since 1970 and said the reviews, which would be carried out every three years, would include new medicines and conditions.

What we often find is that people have a condition that is relatively new and that it’s not included in the scheme,” Ms O’Reilly said.

She said the proposed legislation is “very simple, but will be very effective”, if implemented, and urged other politicians, from all parties and none, to support the bill.

“I would imagine that there would be plenty of people on the Government benches who will support this, who would see that it is necessary and they will lend their support,” she said.

“I’ve constituents come to me, and other TDs have, too, telling them that it’s not fit-for-purpose and needs updating, this just makes that mandatory.”

Ms O’Reilly said the bill would not require additional funding, as it only mandates a review every three years. She added that people denied access to the scheme were already using HSE services.

More on this topic

Surely this isn’t right? Sinn Féin going all fluffy and light

Sinn Féin's Toireasa Ferris withdraws name as general election candidate

Sinn Féin leader McDonald is weak, say rebellious TDs

Special Report: Mary Lou McDonald’s leadership comes under scrutiny in wake of poll performance

More in this Section

BAI not qualified to regulate social media, says data compliance chief

Two men arrested after handguns and ammunition seized in west Dublin

Government urged to include border vote in national risk report

'Respected and loved by all': Tributes paid to councillor Manus Kelly after Donegal Rally crash


Lifestyle

Capturing the castle: Johnstown Castle in County Wexford is well worth checking out

How nature can work wonders for body and soul

Making Cents: Consumer guide to entering PcP car loan contracts

Podcast Corner: An introduction to podcasts

More From The Irish Examiner