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Extend full medical card to every child qualifying for the Domiciliary Care Allowance – O’Reilly

31 May, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Raising the issue of the prospect of full medical cards for every child qualifying for the Domiciliary Care Allowance in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD called on the Taoiseach to bring forward legislation as a matter of priority, highlighting Sinn Féin proposed legislation had been prepared to allow for this so as to avoid any delays in implementing the measure.

Deputy O’Reilly said:

“The heart-wrenching stories of seriously ill children made to wait for medical cards are all too real. We in Sinn Féin believe that this should not be allowed continue. Measures can be taken to alleviate this burden and we believe they cannot wait until the Budget or further afield.

“The Government must urgently introduce and implement a schedule for the extension of full medical cards to people with serious illness and disabilities, without a means test and immune from changes to household finances. This is something Sinn Féin have costed and provided for in our health policy and we have drafted legislation to give effect to this.

“The Government’s Programme for Government commits to doing this in Budget 2017, which we welcome, but we believe that this should happen as a matter of priority. These children have already been deemed by the State to have a ‘disability so severe that the child requires care and attention substantially in excess of another child of the same age' and we believe recognition of the child's lack of function of body or mind resulting from their condition is grounds enough for an automatic medical card. We believe this is an immediate priority.

“Acceptance of our legislation by the Government and its immediate implementation would go some way to addressing inequities in our health system and remove many of the difficulties and burdens families’ experience.

“It is critical as we move towards discussing a ten year plan for health and health policy that we shift the focus to the children's medical need. The system needs to put this at the centre of its consideration.” 

Note: Please see attached the Bill in question

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