Medical card processing issue

A technical issue that caused the medical card national processing unit to crash last week is being “addressed urgently”, the HSE said yesterday.

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae said the situation had resulted in no cards being issued since last Wednesday.

“This is causing awful distress to particularly sick people who are wondering why their cards are not being processed,” said Mr Healy-Rae.

The technical issue is preventing applicants from receiving updates and GPs cannot check the validity of cards or register new ones.

The HSE stated yesterday that the technical issue had disrupted services at the primary care reimbursement service (PCRS)/national medical card Unit.

“Systems will be restored fully to all concerned as soon as possible,” it pointed out.

The HSE stressed that services users’ access to health services was not affected and that reimbursement to pharmacies and GPs would be backdated.

However, it is not yet known when the unit would be up and running again. There was no definite time-frame given for the completion of the repair work.

The health authority said applications for medical card eligibility in “emergency circumstances” will be addressed by emailing cru.emergency@hse.ie, telephoning 01 8647186 or using the fax number, 01 8647192.

The HSE said the processing of non-emergency medical card and GP visit card applications would recommence once systems were restored.

It pointed out that all applications received were monitored to identify priority cases to be granted eligibility without delay.

The PCRS makes payments to doctors, dentists and pharmacists for the free or reduced costs services they provide to the public. Claim data is processed, and payments are made by the PCRS under a number of schemes.

The HSE is committed to ensuring that everyone who is eligible for a medical card receives one as quickly as possible.

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