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More discretion used in area of medical cards — HSE

09 Nov 2015

Tony O’Brien, HSE

There were 1,729,559 medical cards in circulation on October 1, of which 94,614 were granted following the exercise of discretion — more than at any other time before.

The system was now operating in a “much more sensitive manner” with greater discretion being exercised, said the HSE, which indicated this had followed the publication last year of the Keane report of the Expert Panel on Medical Need for Medical Card Eligibility.

Some 183,898 under-sixes cards, which went live from July 1, were issued up to September 9. Meanwhile, in terms of over-70s GP visit cards — the extension of which went live on August 1 — there are now 36,738 cards issued up to September 9.

On foot of the Keane report, the Clinical Advisory Group (CAG) was established by the Director General of the Health Service Executive in January to provide clinical oversight and guidance to the operation of a more compassionate and trusted medical card system.

Following a review of the report, HSE DG Tony O’Brien accepted the interim recommendation to award medical cards to all children under the age of 18 years with a diagnosis of cancer.

Gary Culliton

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times