Budget 2014: Government are medical card fraudsters – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described the government’s medical card measures in the budget as “an act of fraud”.
“This government’s idea of universal healthcare is to give out GP-only cards with one hand and take back full medical cards with the other.
“We in Sinn Féin said the extension of free GP care to children under five would be a welcome start to universal access for all – but not at the expense of taking medical cards from other sections of the population who need them as this government is now doing. This is not universality – it is robbing Peter to pay Paul.
“And on top of this, Fine Gael and Labour who, in opposition, raised the roof in protest at prescription charges for medical card holders have now raised those charges yet again.
“€37 million is to be spent on the under-5s GP card but €149 million is to be taken out of the overall medical card budget. That will mean more people currently in need losing their medical cards.
“Far from tackling medical card fraud this government are the fraudsters.
“In our comprehensive, fair and costed alternative budget we in Sinn Féin provide for the extension of free GP care to all children under 5 without depriving anyone else of medical cards.
“This is not universal healthcare – it is a shameless attempt at the universal hoodwinking of the public. It is the Labour Party trying to appear to be the giving left hand while attempting to conceal the robbing right hand of Fine Gael. They are both thieves and as thick as thieves.”