How the cards fall

Fear of losing their medical card hangs over many families, but the Department of Health claims just a handful are withdrawn, writes Emma Kennedy.

25th May, 2014
Galway Active Retirement members Chris Langan and Grainne Clune protest outside the Dail in 2009 against the withdrawal of medical cards for the over-70s. Photo: Photocall Ireland

Controversy about the medical card system continues to rumble on, as story after story emerges of seriously ill people struggling to meet the cost of their care – and also struggling to negotiate the administration associated with medical card reviews.

Official figures indicate that there are 1,799,103 medical cards on issue, of which just under 50,000 are discretionary. Added to this are about 125,000 GP visit cards, with nearly 30,000 of these discretionary.

“Nearly 42 per cent of the...

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