HSE has lesson to learn in Fleming medical card case, says Taoiseach
Kenny says there should be simple and effective way of dealing with case of terminal illness
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said there must be a simple and effective way of dealing with medical cards for those who are termianlly ill. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he accepts the Health Service Executive (HSE) has a lesson to learn following the difficulty terminally ill Multiple Sclerosis sufferer Marie Fleming had in retaining her medical card.
He added thjat there should be a simple and effective way of dealing with a person who was terminally ill.
“There is a lesson to be learned in there by the HSE in the sense that here is a terminally ill person...and that is, unfortunately, not going to change,’’ he added. “Therefore there has to be an effective and compassionate and understanding process of the continuation of the card.’’
Mr Kenny said it was something “that, unfortunately, in this case, points out where a change must occur in the process of renewal so that people do not have to deal with the verification of an illness that is terminal’’.
The Taoiseach said that while he did not have the details of the case, his understanding was that the medical card was issued, not on a discretionary basis, but on entitlement on income and medical grounds.
“So it is a case of the renewal of an ordinary medical card,’’ he added. Mr Kenny said a person did not become “unterminally ill”.
The Taoiseach was replying in the Dáil today to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who said Ms Fleming’s case was known to the House and the entire country.
“Her condition is well known; she is terminally ill,’’ he added. “Yet she did not get her medical card automatically renewed.’’