Patients waiting on Medical Cards on discretionary grounds for Medical reasons are being left waiting for months for a decision on their application according to Independent TD Mattie McGrath.
Where an application for a Medical Card is received from someone with a medical condition and is found to be slightly over the income guidelines it is sent to a Medical officer for a decision on discretionary grounds based on the medical circumstances, however, it is currently taking well over a month for decisions to be made by the Medical Officer claimed Deputy McGrath.
“I have been contacted by people who have been diagnosed with cancer and who have waiting over 2 months for a decision from the Medical Officer. This is totally unsatisfactory. I have been given assurances from the Medical Card Office and the Minister for Health on numerous occasions that fully completed applications will be processed within 15 working days, however, this is just not happening.”
“We are leaving people with very serious illnesses worrying for months not knowing whether or not they will be granted a medical card when we should be doing all we can to assist them at their time of illness. This is the last thing that people need to be worrying about when they are sick and yet when they ring the Medical Card Office they cannot even be given an approximate time frame for when a decision may be made”
Deputy McGrath has raised this matter with the Minister for Health and has called on him to make every effort possible to ensure that delays with the Medical Officer are cleared as a matter of urgency.
“Sick people should be a priority in the Medical Card Office and not left for months waiting. The Minister and the HSE need to ensure that more resources are put into the Medical Office of the Primary Care Reimbursement services to clear this backlog as a matter of urgency.” Concluded McGrath