Minister for Health James Reilly has said that elderly people have nothing to be afraid of when it comes to a review of the medical card scheme.
James Reilly says he has spoken to the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and they have decided to launch a communications campaign to explain the review.
The Government has announced it wants to save €113m through the medical card probity scheme - but has declined to say how many medical cards will be lost as a result.
Minister Reilly says anyone who should have a card will keep their card, but he accepts that some older people are anxious after receiving letters from the HSE about their circumstances.
"We would have a proper communications plan in place by the HSE to communicate with the public in terms of commercials, in terms of radio programmes, with people out there explaining to people what this is about," he said.
"I think if people realise, particularly the friends, the carers of older people and the family of older people that if they can just reassure their relatives - you'll get a letter, and all you'll have to do is write back.
"There's nothing to be afraid of here."