TDs to investigate backlog in issuing of medical cards

A delegation of TDs from the Committee on Health and Children will visit the Medical Card Centre in Dublin today to investigate a backlog in the issuing of medical cards.

A delegation of TDs from the Committee on Health and Children will visit the Medical Card Centre in Dublin today to investigate a backlog in the issuing of medical cards.

As of last week, more than 14,000 applications had been received at the now centralised facility in Finglas, with some people waiting up to nine months to receive their cards.

The HSE said that the 150 staff, who were reassigned to the centralised office from various sections around the country, need retraining, and this has resulted in the delays.

However, chairman of the Health Committee, Fine Gael Deputy Jerry Buttimer, said that this new system was put in place last July and therefore any backlogs should have been dealt with by now.

"We as a committee want to go out there and to gain an appreciation and understanding regarding the issue," he said.

"Minister Shortall, who is the Minister with responsibility for primary care, has been very proactive in this and we as a committee in keeping with the Minister are very much of the viewpoint that those people who need medical cards and who need access to urgent health care should have it in a manner that it timely and they shouldn't have to be waiting and they shouldn't be tied up in red tape."

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