Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke has called on the Government to cut prescription charges for medical card holders in the upcoming budget.

Deputy O’Rourke pointed out that the previous Fine Gael – Labour Government oversaw a five-fold increase in prescription charges, which has resulted in many people struggling to meet their medical costs.

“The previous Fine Gael Government promised to abolish prescription charges but this never happened. Instead they decided to hike the charge to €2.50 per item. This massive hike was particularly cruel on older people as they are more likely to have to rely on repeat medical prescriptions,” said Deputy O’Rourke.

“I firmly believe that we need to move towards abolishing the prescription charge. We should be encouraging people to use the medication that they need to live active and fulfilling lives. However the prescription charge only serves to make it difficult for people to access the basic medications that they need.

“I recently met with Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath and Public Expenditure Spokesperson Dara Calleary to discuss this. I highlighted the need to start the process of abolishing the prescription charges, and they took on board my concerns. I remain hopeful that progress on this issue can be made in the upcoming budget,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.