Sinn Féin motion on medical cards for sick children passed – O’Reilly
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly TD has welcomed the cross party support for the Sinn Féin motion on automatically providing medical cards for very sick children who are in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA).
Deputy O’Reilly said:
“There is no doubt that there is any member of Government or any Member of the Oireachtas unaware of the depth of hardship, anxiety and grief being caused by the denial of medical cards to people who desperately need them. We heard some of the many examples here tonight from all sides of the chamber.
“However, when we hear the harrowing stories of gravely sick, ill and disabled children, it strikes an even deeper chord. There are parents in the gallery here this evening who now wish to see the actions of this motion brought forward urgently. And there are thousands more who could not be here because they are providing full time care for those very sick children.
“I welcome the levels of strong support right across this chamber for this motion, and I welcome the Minister’s commitment here tonight. He has met with Our Children’s Health and has said that he will extend medical cards to these sick children. This cannot wait until an unknown date in 2017. We may be rising from the House this week but that does not prohibit the Minister from publishing the legislation to give effect to this commitment over the recess. In fact, we can provide ours. It can be taken the first week back.
“The commitment has been made. It will be a budget priority for 2017. So the Minister must publish legislation to give effect to this to ensure that the practices and procedures are in place once the budget has been finalised. There can be no excuses, no hesitation, no long-fingering. We need to give these families certainty and we need to give these children the best quality of health possible.”