Government’s U-turn on discretionary medical cards

The government’s U-turn on discretionary medical cards along with the announcement that eligibility may in the future be determined by medical need is further evidence that Fine Gael & Labour do not have the stomach to change our unfair two-tier health system.

Green Party Health Spokesperson, Oisin Ó hAlmhain, says: “Allocating resources simply on the basis of medical condition continues the policy where illnesses with a strong emotional appeal receive more funding, while those conditions which are thought to be less deserving, such as psychiatric illness or chronic pain, do not.  Evidence of this can be seen in the recent cuts to gastric banding surgery for obese patients, and in the growing waiting lists for ENT and dermatology services throughout the country.

“The Green Party is committed to the goal of equity of outcomes in health, as well as to fairness in opportunities and services for health. Medical cards must be allocated to those in greatest need, and not simply to those with the most vocal lobby group. Measures are needed to ensure that some discretion remains, but only in a transparent and equitable system, where those with greatest medical need are cared for.”

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