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Civil servants rightly demand restoration of their wages to pre-austerity levels. Their trade unions will argue their case well, but who will fight for the rights of the old, sick, and poor?
Fine Gael and Labour are in shock. They snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They are still in denial as to how they lost so many seats. They had alienated the grey panthers, when they took their medical cards from them. They drove them into the arms of moneylenders and banks.
Our new government must restore the limits of the means test for medical cards to what they were before the drastic cuts. But application forms should not have to be completed all over again. The system would be submerged under paperwork. Making an application was a bureaucratic marathon for ordinary people. It was uncaring harassment of the old, the sick, and the poor.
If people had held a medical card, but since then had fallen foul of the austerity means tests, they should have their medical cards restored in full, immediately. The existing computer records would expedite that procedure.
I wish the new Health Minister every success. He will learn quickly that the ministerial pen is mightier than bureaucratic bumbling. Be brave, Simon.
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