Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Michael Moynihan is calling on the Health Minister to clarify whether the medical card review process has been outsourced to a German company.  His call comes after the Dáil heard claims that Arvato Finance, a Dublin-based company is handling the medical card review system.

“This is an extremely worrying claim and raises a range of issues about the way medical card eligibility is being assessed.  Over the past three years the number of discretionary medical cards has fallen dramatically.  More than 30,000 people have had their medical cards taken away from them in the past three years under this Minister.  These are people will life-threatening and debilitating conditions, yet the State is refusing to help them pay their significant medical bills”, commented Deputy Moynihan.

“The Government continues to deny that there’s been any change in policy, yet support groups like the Jack and Jill Foundation and the Irish Cancer Society say there has been a change in the assessment process.

“In the past year and a half more than 4,000 discretionary medical cards have been taken out of the system in the HSE South region.  That’s 4,000 families that are now struggling to cope with medical bills and expenses.

“It’s unfair for the Minister to expect seriously ill people to be subjected to this overly bureaucratic, burdensome system and to have to fight for a service that they should be entitled to.

“I have grave concerns about the reports that a financial services company is now deciding on medical card eligibility.  Are these people trained in healthcare policies?  Do they have adequate support from community welfare officers? Do they have a background in healthcare provision?  These are all serious questions that need to be answered and I would call on the Health Minister to clarify the situation without delay”, Deputy Moynihan concluded.