Medical Card Bill for Long Term Sick &Terminally ill Children – Crowe
Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has welcomed his party’s new Dáil legislation that he says will address the current anomaly where long term or terminally ill children do not have access to a medical card.
The current Government has promised action but nothing in reality has happened and Crowe is confident that this new legislation will address some of the financial difficulties facing families.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“Families with a child that has a long term illness or is terminally ill should not have the added burden and worry of trying to meet astronomical medical bills but that is the reality facing many families across the state.
“The current Government promised reform in this area but there is clearly no urgency or any immediate proposals to give a card to this group of children.
“Measures should be taken to alleviate this added burden on families and that is the purpose of the new Sinn Fein legislation.
“Currently to access a Domiciliary Care Allowance a child must have a severe disability which requires ongoing care and attention, substantially over and above the care and attention usually required by a child of the same age.
“Our legislation proposes to introduce and allow for medical cards to be given to children who meet this criteria.
“The Government ‘s Programme for Government commits to doing this in Budget 2017, which we welcome, but we believe that this should happen sooner rather than being put on the long finger.
“These children have already been deemed by the State to have a disability so severe that the child requires substantial care.
“Not being able to access the medical card without a full financial audit of a household families places undue hardship and stress on a family. This needs to stop and extending the medical card to children in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance is the first step in ensuring that critically ill children who need medical cards get access to them.
“New Health Minister Simon Harris has met and made commitments to many of the families affected but they need immediate help. This proposed new legislation will do just that.”