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Withdrawing medical cards from our sick is a disgrace – Sandra McLellan TD

14 May, 2014

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Tourism & Sport, Sandra McLellan TD, has this evening branded the governments’ withdrawing of discretionary medical cards from our sick as nothing short of a disgrace.

Speaking during the Dáil debate on Sinn Féin’s motion on discretionary medical cards, McLellan said:

“Withdrawing discretionary medical cards is one of harshest policies of this government. At a time when families should expect support and understanding from their government they are met with red tape and bureaucracy.

“There is not a TD in this house that does not have heart breaking cases of people being refused the discretionary medical card.

“We could wall paper this building twice over with the representations we have all made on behalf of our constituents.

“It is frustrating for us but it’s a matter of life and death for many of men women and children we represent.

“But of course it is in these very corridors that the real decisions about medical cards are made. It is government policy that determines if someone receives the life line of a discretionary medical card or not.

“My own experience as a public representative is best reflected in the stories of my constituents and their families.

“A 2 year old with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, needs a drug called methatrxate. This comes at a cost of €250 per month. But it is not currently covered by drugs payment scheme. The family applied for medical card to cover this cost. Their application is currently under appeal. The family live in fear that they will lose the appeal and will be forced to pay the €3,000 per year required to cover the cost of this drug.

“This government is now given the opportunity to change all this. This government must stop the blame game. Your silly mantra of blaming Fianna Fáil no longer washes. You are the ones now in power and have been for over 3 years.

“Sinn Féin calls on the government to reverse the cuts to discretionary medical cards imposed in the Health service Executive service plan for 2014.”

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