Family threatened with medical card removal despite illnesses

‘I was terrified to take the kids to the doctor because of the extra costs’

Her husband has cancer, her son has cerebral palsy, and, while the review of discretionary medical cards is supposed to be suspended, a Co Wicklow woman claims the Health Service Executive is still threatening to take her family’s card.

Her husband has cancer, her son has cerebral palsy, and, while the review of discretionary medical cards is supposed to be suspended, a Co Wicklow woman claims the Health Service Executive is still threatening to take her family’s card.

Thu, Jun 5, 2014, 01:01

Her husband has cancer, her son has cerebral palsy, and, while the review of discretionary medical cards is supposed to be suspended, a Co Wicklow woman claims the Health Service Executive is still threatening to take her family’s card.

The woman said she was “appalled” when she got a warning letter from the HSE yesterday despite promises from the Government that the review process was being suspended.

When she telephoned the HSE’s medical card processing centre in Finglas to query the letter, she was told the family still had to submit medical reports and tax documents. Only when this was done would they confirm the suspension of the review of their card.

Rare cancer

The family got a medical card on a discretionary basis last July after 18 months of seeking one. The father has a rare cancer and the couple’s son (16) has cerebral palsy. The couple, who do not wish to be identified, are self-employed and suffered a severe drop in income after the husband became ill.

The woman said her husband is treated by five consultants. “It’s appalling. What I’m being asked to do is to take their valuable medical time by burdening them with paperwork for no valid purpose at all.”

The woman estimates they spent €5,000 on consultants’ fees last year before getting a medical card. “I was terrified to take the kids to the doctor because of the extra costs involved,” she said.

She said her husband’s cancer is now in remission but he needs to have his health checked every two months.