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Adams criticises Government on Medical Card cuts

3 July, 2013 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams TD this morning called on the government to reverse its cuts to medical card provision.

Speaking during Leaders Questions, Teachta Adams drew attention to two cases in which citizens have had their medical cards withdrawn; a seven year old boy with a congenital heart defect in Co Louth, and a 102 year old man in Waterford, who, born before the 1916 Rising, is one of our oldest and most vulnerable citizens.

Teachta Adams accused the government of “making health care unaffordable and inaccessible for the sick, the elderly and the vulnerable.”

Speaking after the Dáil debate Gerry Adams said:

“The government is continuing the regime of health cuts and health privatisation of its Fianna Fáil predecessors.

Quite frankly the removal of medical cards from thousands of citizens makes a complete mockery of the claims that Fine Gael and Labour are reforming the health services and moving towards free primary care for all.

In Budget 2013 the government signalled that a further €750 million would be cut from health spending this year and that medical card entitlements would be targeted.

“In April, during the Easter recess, the HSE announced that further restrictions in medical card eligibility were being introduced. This followed on from legislation which lowered the income threshold for medical card qualification for people over 70 years old. 

“In recent weeks constituency offices of TD’s, including my own, have been inundated by citizens who are bearing the brunt of these cuts; by citizens who have had their medical card entitlements removed and in many cases they are from households in mortgage distress or who are desperately trying to make ends meet as a result of all of the extra taxes the government has introduced.

“This is at odds with Fine Gael’s claim in its five point plan to provide for a fair care plan for health. There is nothing fair and there is nothing caring about this government’s approach to medical cards.

“In stark contrast its bonuses for bankers, it’s toadying up to the well -connected and the wealthy, and its forcing families like these to bear the awful brunt of the government’s austerity policies.”

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