Charging medical card-holders

 

Sir, – At the annual meeting of the Irish Medical Association, a delegate said charging medical card-holders for some services may be the only “quick cure” to the financial pressures faced by a growing number of family doctors.

Some GPs are already charging medical card-holders for blood tests which are covered by the medical card. The patient then has to go to the HSE for a refund. The HSE issues a refund instead of telling the GPs that they are in breach of their contract.

One doctor quoted at the annual meeting of the IMO says, “I don’t see patients out complaining.” Why don’t the doctors go out and complain? People marched against water charges and against homelessness. Did they ask the doctors to march to make their point? It is a GP/HSE issue. Why should the patients complain? Are the doctors afraid to speak up? – Yours, etc,

JOHN WILLIAMS,

Clonmel,

Co Tipperary.