Fianna Fáil Senator Marc Mac Sharry is calling on the Health Minister to refund people whose medical card was taken away from them during the HSE review. Despite the fact that the Minister has agreed to reinstate more than 15,000 medical cards which were wrongly taken away during the review process, thousands of people remain out of pocket after being forced to pay for expensive treatments and medication because of their condition.
Senator Mac Sharry commented, “More than 1000 families in Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan & Donegal have been put under financial pressure because of the Minister’s complete denial and mishandling of the medical card crisis. It took the “unintended consequences” of the Labour and Fine Gael local election melt down for Reilly and his detached Cabinet colleagues to listen to the plight of families which Fianna Fáil has been highlighting for nearly 2 years.
“The decision yesterday is little respite from the stress, worry and anxiety which thousands of medical card holders have been put through over the last three years. It is the most vulnerable in society burdened with serious illnesses and disabilities who have been needlessly targeted under this Minister’s aggressive money saving policy. Families have been left struggling to pay for medical bills and prescriptions. All across the North West our most needy were dismissed by Minister Reilly who blindly and incredibly refused to admit that there were any cuts to medical cards at all. His u-turn yesterday, while welcome, does not undo the financial pressure and distress that these families were subjected to by this Government over the last 2 years.
“For this reason I am calling on the Minister immediately introduce a full refund system for all people who had their cards withdrawn under the review. These people have suffered enough at the hands of this Minister Reilly and his Cabinet colleagues”.