Fine Gael Tipperary South TD, Tom Hayes, has welcomed the commitment given by the HSE to review how medical cards are being processed, after serious deficiencies were highlighted in the current system.
“I have heard from many of my constituents in recent weeks who have experienced serious problems with the medical card issuing system. It seems the increase in the number of people applying for medical cards, combined with the decision of the HSE to centralise the processing of applications, has led to long delays and major glitches in the system.
“The current process seems to be operating in a chaotic nature; some applications are getting lost, while others are being sent back due to small omissions, forcing people to apply twice or more. Filling out the complex application form can be quite daunting and confusing, especially for older people. Allowances must be made for those who are not able to fill out the form without help.
“I am glad to receive confirmation from the HSE that a member of senior management will be assigned to the newly centralised office in Finglas, to review the operation and examine problems within the system. Hopefully this will lead to the serious glitches being ironed out, and a speeding-up in the processing of application forms.
“Patients, particularly those with serious illnesses, should not be left waiting more than 15 days to get their medical cards. The HSE should look at how applications can be prioritised to ensure those who need medical cards most get them first. I would also encourage all of my constituents to keep copies of any forms and papers they have submitted to the HSE in recent weeks.”