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Government denies medical cards to Irelands most vulnerable groups

4 November, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has welcomed today‚s report from the Government‚s information agency, Comhairle, which highlights the need for all recipients of social assistance payments to be entitled to medical cards. Their report confirms that the most vulnerable groups in Ireland today are being denied basic health care by the Government.

Speaking today in response to the report the party spokesperson for health and children, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said:

"Prior to the last General Election this Government promised to increase access to medical cards by some 200,000. This is yet another of the Government's promises that have failed to materialise.

"The reality is that due to the Government‚s failure to act, a married couple with two children who earn 260 Euros per week are not entitled to basic health care for their children. I find this completely unacceptable in the booming Irish economy of 2004. I call on the Government to live up to its pre election promise and increase the income guidelines for medical cards and to introduce medical cards for everyone who is in receipt of any social assistance payments." ENDS

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