If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Medical card scandal still not put to bed despite arrival of Varadkar

Leo I thought you were different, please prove me right.

A boy under ten, with a lifelong condition waiting for another major operation. His family desperately wanting him to be called as soon as possible, but at the same time were praying it wouldn’t be too soon as his medical card renewal, three months later, had still not been processed.

A man with a heart condition in a hospital bed having suffered a stroke after he and his wife made the difficult choice to buy her medication instead of his. They couldn’t afford both while they were waiting months for their medical card renewal to be processed.

And worse of all, a terminal cancer patient paying €300 a go for medication while he waited seven months for the final decision on his medical card renewal. He was refused, despite his grave medical condition, despite there being no difference in the financial information he submitted for his last and successful renewal.

Minister, these are just three of the very many heartbreaking cases we in Sinn Féin have made representation on to the HSE. All have previously held medical cards and for very many years, yet for unknown reasons were months without cover while their applications were being ‘processed’.

Having rang or emailed the HSE, almost on a daily basis, out of sheer desperation we contacted your office: sending a personal email and phone calls to your secretary, imploring you to please do something in relation to the unjustified delays in processing applications generally and specific urgent cases. I explained that despite scores of emails and phone calls the cancer patient was no closer to receiving his card. The most recent excuse was a date was missing from one piece of documentation. He submitted it with a date and waited nearly two months before being told his card would not be renewed. He can appeal, but will he live long enough to see whether terminal cancer is considered exceptional grounds for a discretionary card?

I have, despite our political differences, admired your straight talking and ‘let’s get things done’ attitude. When I heard of your new appointment I really thought you would be different. You would be the one to shake things up. Was I wrong?

Please minister, prove I was right, and do right by those who need you to. Sort out this medical card fiasco. Ensure the health of vulnerable people is not further compromised beyond what it already has been. Ensure this terminal patient has one less worry and has his card restored.

Toireasa Ferris




Co Kerry


Ray Liotta never planned to be an actor. He only signed up for drama classes in college in a bid to dodge the more academic subjects, and didn’t make his first film until he was 30.Both sides now: Ray Liotta on his 40 year career

I am Jesus Christ! No, don’t worry, this writer’s ego isn’t quite that big. We won’t be turning water into wine. Rather, ‘I Am Jesus Christ’ is the name of a new game just announced on Steam.GameTech: The new video game 'I am Jesus Christ'

Johnny ‘Fang’ Murphy, frontman with Cork group The Stargazers, tells Ellie O’Byrne about the cultural milestones on his musical journey.Getting into the swing of things: Johnny 'Fang' Murphy on his musical journey

Clean skincare is cleaning up, but does it even mean anything in particular?The Skin Nerd: When clean does not always mean better

More From The Irish Examiner