Ó Domhnaill calls for a stop to ‘slash and burn’ of medical cards

FF opposes Bill to take 35,000 medical cards off elderly

Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has called on the Government to immediately call a halt to plans to take 35,000 medical cards off the elderly.


Senator Ó Domhnaill and his Fianna Fáil colleagues have strongly opposed legislation currently going through the Seanad that will see thousands of older people across the country lose their medical card.


The Fianna Fáil Senator has described the Budget 2014 measure as an “exceptionally mean and short-sighted cut.”


“We have already seen the Health Minister James Reilly take thousands of discretionary medical cards from people with serious illnesses and disabilities, including very sick children, over the past few months. Now he plans to ramp up his attack on medical cards by targeting older people as well as those with discretionary cards,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill


“All of this is happening because Minister Reilly’s woeful mismanagement of the health services, leading to yet another year of budgetary chaos on his watch. He is now turning to sick people, people with disabilities and older citizens to help plug the gap in his Department’s budget. It’s a disgrace.”


“Meanwhile the Government is sitting back and praising itself for exchequer figures being above target, largely because they hit people with the Budget 2014 increase in excise duty in October – two months earlier than usual. So while the tax take is ahead of target and spending is below target, why does the Government still feel the need to target older people for medical card cuts to save just €25 million?.”


“This is an extremely short-sighted move by a government that seems completely incapable of managing our health services. The Taoiseach and the Health Minister have spent the last two months denying its targeted campaign of discretionary medical card cuts, even though the HSE’s own figures show that more than a 1,000 people a month are losing their medical cards. And the campaign of cuts will be ramped up again in 2014.”


“This must stop. I am appealing to the government to reconsider this mean and highly damaging policy before many more people who depend on their medical cards lose that vital support without warning next year.” ; Concluded Ó Domhnaill

Posted: Dec 9, 2013     |     Categories: Uncategorized