Kenny again denies change in medical card policy

Fianna Fáil leader says sick people losing entitlements

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: said everybody was now treated equally with regard to medical cards. File Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: said everybody was now treated equally with regard to medical cards. File Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Wed, Nov 20, 2013, 12:55

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has again insisted that there has been no change in policy in issuing medical cards.

He said in the Dáil today that since the beginning of this year, 100,000 new medical cards had been granted, with 20,000 of them discretionary cards.

“Nobody is entitled to one automatically,’’ he added. “Everybody is entitled to have their case properly and compassionatly assessed.’’

Mr Kenny said his understanding was that the long-term illness card allocated to a child referred to by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin dealt with the child’s illness.

“That is my information,’’ he added. “You have different information, and neither of the two of us is competent to make that judgement on medical grounds, although you might pretend to be.’’

Mr Martin said the Taoiseach’s assertion that anybody entitled to a medical card would receive one was “fundamentally untrue”. He added that from January to October of this year, over 10,000 discretionary medical cards had been taken from people.

“By definition, Taoiseach, these are very sick people,’’ he added.

Mr Kenny said the problem which Ireland had for so long was that different health areas allocated medical cards on different criteria. Everybody was now treated equally, he said.