Private Members’ Business – Discretionary Medical Cards


Dáil Éireann 8 October 2013


Thank you for the opportunity to speak on Private Members’ Business.


Since July, I, like many other Deputies in this chamber, have met on a daily and weekly basis with constituents affected by the huge reduction in the number of discretionary medical cards.


I have identified three problems with the manner in which this was carried out, first the timing of the decrease, secondly the manner it was communicated or rather not communicated with people, and thirdly, the dire position that this cut leaves many acutely ill people in.


We are all aware of the pressure that this Government is under to find savings to enable the Irish people to balance their books, and I know the major part that the health budget plays in expenditure and thus, when Government budgets are cut, that must be reflected in the health budget.


However, when cuts are being made, it is important that the manner of the cuts does not add to the difficulty being experienced by people, and I believe that this has been the case in the recent reduction in the number of discretionary medical cards.