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Automatic Medical Card to deserving children a stepping stone to universal health care – Ó Caoláin

19 July, 2016 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said that “it is high time that medical cards were granted to every child with a serious illness or disability”. Deputy Ó Caoláin urged the Government to support a Sinn Féin motion that would guarantee that every child in receipt of Domiciliary care Allowance a Medical Card.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“Severely sick and disabled children in this country have been grossly neglected for many years. Parents and families of these children have put in a lot of time and energy fighting to ensure that their young, sick child has the right to a medical card. It is totally unacceptable and plain wrong to put any parent or family through such an ordeal when all they want to do is simply care for their child, not fight a system that refuses to recognise their plight and distress.

“It is high time that medical cards were granted to every child with a serious illness or disability. Sinn Féin believes that the Department of Social Protection’s Domiciliary Care Allowance scheme provides an example of an assessment model on which a new medical card eligibility test could be based, in that it is independent of both financial means and diagnosis titles. Rather, eligibility is based on reaching a threshold of care needs.

“The extension of an automatic medical card to all children in receipt of the domiciliary care allowance is only a stepping stone, albeit, a very important one.

“Sinn Féin are committed to the realisation of a world-class system of universal health care, accessed on the basis of need, free at the point of delivery, and funded by progressive taxation for the Irish state.  

“I have no doubt but that every single Deputy in this House has been approached by a concerned parent of one of these children with a severe illness or disability who is at their wits end trying to secure a medical card. Today we have an opportunity to bring to a halt the distressing and cruel process that these families must go through. Let us get that ball rolling and ensure that those young children will have the automatic entitlement to a medical card that they are so deservedly entitled to. Le bhur dtoil, tabharaigí bhur tacaíocht don rún seo.” 

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