Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health, Billy Kelleher TD, has welcomed the Government U-Turn on medical cards which may signal a return to the trusted discretionary system.
Reports in today’s newspapers reveal that new Minister for Health Leo Varadkar will move away from his predecessor’s decision to explore awarding medical cards on the grounds of medical condition.
He commented: “I welcome the U-Turn by new Health Minister Leo Varadkar to move away from the impractical decision by former Minister James Reilly to look into awarding medical cards based on medical condition.
“Minister Reilly failed to understand the consequences of his disastrous handling of the medical card fiasco but pushed ahead regardless of the concerns. The discretionary medical card system worked efficiently since it was introduced in the 1970s and Minister Reilly’s tampering with it proved a complete disaster for the Fine Gael and Labour Government. The awarding of discretionary medical cards ensures that very sick people get the care they deserve without being put under financial pressure. This is fairer than any other system.
“I hope that Minister Varadkar produces a budget this year that is fair, achievable and protects frontline health services which have been butchered in recent years.”