Fianna Fail TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says the Government’s cull on medical cards is continuing.  New HSE figures reveal that more than 87,000 cards have been cut in the past 12 months, with the over 70s being hardest hit in the region.

Deputy Smith commented, “Hundreds of families across Cavan and Monaghan will feel the extra financial burden as they face mounting medical bills.  They’ll now be forced to pay for GP visits, prescription medicines and hospital stays – costs which would have previously been covered by their medical card. 

“Once again, older people have been unfairly targeted by this Government.  Over the past year almost 400 people in Cavan and Monaghan have lost their over 70s medical card.  These are some of the most vulnerable people in our society, who have already been on the receiving end of harsh Government cuts.  They’ve had their Household Benefits package cut, seen the telephone allowance abolished, and endured a reduction in their fuel allowance.  Now 398 elderly people across Cavan and Monaghan have had their medical card taken from them.

“Following three and a half years of drastic cuts to the discretionary card scheme, there has been an increase in the number of these cards granted this year.  More than 30,000 cards were removed between March 2011 and March 2014, and despite a Government u-turn on the issue, thousands of people were forced to endure months, and in some cases years, of distress and anxiety, after their medical cards were taken from them.  However hundreds of others, many with life limiting illnesses are still being denied a card”.