Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North-West Michael Moynihan has called on the HSE to honour its commitment to refund prescription charges for new recipients of a Long-term Illness Card.

People with certain long term illnesses, such as diabetes, can apply for a Long-term Illness Card to help cover the cost of medicines. Holders of the card do not have to pay the controversial prescription charges.

Deputy Moynihan commented, “I’ve been contacted by a number of people who suffer with diabetes and who applied for a Long-term Illness Card. It took a long time for the HSE to process their applications, and in the meantime they had to pay extortionate prescription charges for basic medicine that they require on an ongoing basis.

“There is an established practice whereby these prescription charges are refunded to the date that the Long-term Illness Card was granted, which is essentially the date that the application was made. However a number of people who recently received a Long-term Illness Card are still awaiting a refund from the HSE.

“I’m calling on the HSE to honour its commitment to refund the prescription charges paid by recent recipients of the Long-term Illness Card. The fact that they were granted a card in the first place shows that the HSE acknowledges they need assistance in accessing medicines which they need on an ongoing basis. These people are essentially being penalised by the HSE just because they are unfortunate to have an illness such as diabetes.

“This is an issue which I will be raising with the Minister for Health Simon Harris. It is essentially that the HSE honours its commitments,” said Deputy Moynihan.