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Medical cards should be available to all Muscular Dystrophy sufferers – Ó Caoláin

21 May, 2009 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD


Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said the Government motion on Muscular Dystrophy fails to identify outstanding needs of muscular dystrophy sufferers and the obligations on Government to meet those needs. Deputy Ó Caoláin said medical cards should be available to all sufferers of Muscular Dystrophy.

He said, “It is unfortunate that the Dáil cannot speak with one voice on this issue. However, while the motion in the name of Minister John Moloney sets out some of the key facts, it is narrow in scope, self-congratulatory in tone and fails to identify outstanding needs of muscular dystrophy sufferers and the obligations on Government to meet those needs.

“There are two broad areas of need identified and they are enhanced Government support for DMD research and the development of services to people with muscular dystrophy in general.

“People with muscular dystrophy who have breathing difficulties, must hire ventilators to assist their breathing and without a medical card, must pay the first €90 per month under the drugs payment scheme just to stay alive. This is an annual sum of €1,080, which in many cases, has to be paid from a relatively low net income. Breathing machines improve not only the quality of life, but also life expectancy, and the cost of using such a device should not be a prohibitive burden. Therefore medical cards should be available to all people with muscular dystrophy.” ENDS

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