Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher is calling on the Government to clarify how many medical cards are being restored as part of its u-turn on cuts to discretionary cards. In just a few hours, the Government has managed to create more confusion over the number of medical cards which will be given back to people who had them taken away. Between the end of the cabinet meeting and Leaders’ Questions, the Health Minster and the Taoiseach managed to come with different numbers of how many people would be having cards returned.
Deputy Kelleher commented, “The Minister and the Taoiseach need to speak to each other and decide just how many discretionary medical cards are being restored. Earlier today, James Reilly announced that 15,300 cards would be returned to people, however, this afternoon the Taoiseach told the Dáil that 13,000 cards will be restored. Both men were at the same Cabinet meeting this morning, how they have announced two completely different figures this afternoon is a complete mystery.
“The Taoiseach and Health Minister have to get their story straight and decide how many discretionary medical cards are being restored. Even if Minister Reilly’s figures are correct, it is still only half the number that have been cut over the past three years. What happens to the other 15,000 people who had their cards removed since this Government came into office? They remain in medical card limbo. Enda Kenny could clarify the situation immediately by agreeing to restore medical cards to all of the people who lost them over the past three years.
“Many of the families who lost their cards could now have a strong case for a refund of medical expenses incurred during the period in which their card was removed, and I would urge the Minister to give this proposal serious consideration.