Losing medical cards - Right to be worried

GPs are warning that the withdrawal of existing medical cards is causing serious worry among vulnerable people.

The HSE has admitted it cancelled almost 10,000 medical cards, because the holders were no longer entitled to them, but there were also 35,000 other people the HSE insists did not respond to requests for more information.

Many elderly and infirm people are living in dread of losing their medical cards. Health Minister James Reilly insists they are worrying needlessly. “Nobody who is entitled to a medical card will lose it or be refused one,” he insisted recently.

Should anyone really be worried? The minister has promised free GP care for all children under six next year, and by 2016 he has promised free GP care for all.

Why then are the cards now being taken from obviously vulnerable people, like those with Down’s syndrome? Down Syndrome Ireland has said it heard of 100 such children who have had their discretionary cards withdrawn in the past year, but it believes double that number could be affected.

Could it be that Mr Reilly has developed what might be deemed a credibility gap?


Lifestyle

The ribbed fabric is having a fashion moment, says Katie Wright.Get on board with cord: 5 of the best pinafore dresses and how to style them

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine advises a woman whose future mother-in-law isn’t happy with her decision not to have kids.Ask a counsellor: ‘Why can’t my fiancé’s mother accept that I don’t want children?’

Vincent Thurkettle, author of The Wood Fire Handbook, talks to Luke Rix-Standing about one of our best-loved simple pleasures – the log fire.Burning love: Why are roaring wood fires so endlessly appealing?

Students have nothing to be anxious about with their CAO 2020, just follow this easy video guide with Trish McGrath, Principal of Hewitt CollegeTen tips to completing CAO 2020 applications online, plus a short video guide for students

More From The Irish Examiner