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No legitimate reason against giving a child who is sick a full medical card – Brady

19 July, 2016 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady has called on all Oireachtas members to support the party’s Private Members Business being discussed tonight. The motion calls for a full medical card to be automatically awarded to all children in receipt of the Domiciliary Care Allowance.

Teachta Brady said:

“There is no legitimate reason for any TD to vote against giving a child who is sick a full medical card. We have heard a number of announcements on this but there has been no action to implement it. In his most recent announcement, Minister Harris said it would be implemented next year. Next year is not good enough. These children are sick now and they need a medical card now – not next year.

“There are no excuses. Legislation is already prepared and ready to go, implementation needs to follow immediately. The Government can rush through legislation when it suits them - be it the financial emergency legislation, the property tax, water charges or to tackle head shops. It has been done. If providing sick children with a medical card was a priority it could be done too. This is about political priorities and political choices.

“The cost of doing this is a mere €9 million which pales in comparison to the €14 million spent on ministerial transport costs between 2011 and 2014 or the €700 million spent on Irish Water.

“Not only is there a fight for medical cards in the first place but there is also a fight to get a medical card back when it is taken off a child.

“This Government are so far removed from the realities faced by so many families out there. The fact that we have to push for something such as this proves it.

“If we are all in agreement that sick children are entitled to a medical card, we should see emergency legislation go straight through. It has been done before and it can be done again. It is a political choice.

“This motion provides an opportunity for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to give something back to a cohort of people they have taken so much from. I hope this opportunity is not wasted.” 

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