Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has called for the resignation of Ministers James Reilly and Alex White in the wake of the debacle over the withdrawal of discretionary medical cards.
Deputy Kelleher was commenting in the wake of Finance Minister Michael Noonan indicating that those who lost their discretionary cards will now get them back.
Deputy Kelleher said: “It is very welcome to hear that those who had their medical cards wrongly taken away from them will have them restored but it is astonishing that thousands of families have had to endure so much anguish before the Government has finally acted.
“For months and months Minister James Reilly and Alex White have denied there was any problem with the disappearance of 30,000 discretionary medical cards. Minister Reilly has been totally absent from public comment or debate on this issue while almost every other minister has commented on the issue. Where is the Minister for Health?”
Deputy Kelleher added: “Two opposition motions in the Dáil on discretionary medical cards were ridiculed and rejected by these Health Ministers. Minister White in particular put the government’s case with relish, saying that there was ‘no such entity as a discretionary medical card’. It showed a Minister completely out of touch. Incredibly, he now thinks he should be promoted to the office of Tánaiste.
“The credibility of both Ministers is in tatters after this controversy. Furthermore, the continuing inability of Minister Reilly to present a credible health budget compounds the untenable nature of his position in Cabinet.”