Tipperary TD Calls For “More Compassionate” Approach To Medical Card Applications

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Martin Browne, TD (Sinn Fein)

Tipperary Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne has called on the Department of Health to use compassion and common sense and consider reviewing the process involved in requiring people with lifelong conditions to re-apply their medical card.

The Tipperary Sinn Féin TD made the call for a more compassionate and common sense approach in the Dáil on Thursday on behalf of a female constituent who was subject to a long and arduous process despite having a complex condition that is lifelong and requires ongoing access to care, surgery, medical devices and treatment.

In January the National Medical Card Unit informed the woman that she needed to re-apply for her medical card putting a burden on the woman to submit 80 pages of documentation, handle an inordinate number of phone calls, and devote a substantial amount of time and energy to re-confirm her conditions.

The TD says the family are proposing reform of the system including a lifelong medical card for persons with such a condition and more concise documentation to be used in reviews. Deputy Browne adds that the family questions the approach by the state to providing care for people with disabilities and long-term conditions in the area of medical card provision.

Deputy Browne says if Ireland is to introduce Universal Healthcare in Ireland, surely those most in need should be put first in developing a system where healthcare is free at the point of contact.