Medical card cuts effecting cancer patients in Ireland
The Irish Cancer Society has expressed deep concerns surrounding the distress and financial impact caused to Irish cancer sufferers as a result of losing their discretionary medical cards or being refused them. They have urged the HSE to allocate medical cards to cancer patients who are currently undergoing treatment immediately and have said that there has been a 12% increase in applications for financial aid from patients in the first quarter of this year.
It has now become increasingly difficult in Ireland for cancer patients to receive discretionary medical cards and is a major concern for Kathleen O’Meara who is the Head of Advocacy and Communications. Ms O’ Meara said recently “According to the HSE’s own national assessment guidelines, the patients we are talking to should, and would have in the past, been entitled to a discretionary medical card but they are not getting one now. The Government is consistently denying that there is a policy to cut discretionary medical cards but what we are hearing from patients paints a different picture.”
She went on to say “We have written to the HSE’s Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the issues arising for cancer patients applying for medical cards or being reviewed.”