Independent Dail deputy Seamus Healy has accused the Government of ‘social vandalism’ in a debate today on the withdrawal of medical cards from elderly people, and called on the Government to stop hounding sick and elderly people.
“It is shameful in the extreme, it is an attack on the most vulnerable in our society. The Labour Party should be ashamed of itself. Connolly and Larkin are turning in their graves,” he said.
“The Government, in this year’s budget targeted the withdrawal of 40,000 medical cards. This policy has left sick and elderly people traumatised and in daily fear of losing their medical cards.
“Sick and elderly people are being targeted in order to pay banks and bondholders and to protect the top 10,000 income earners in this country who have income of €595,000 each per year,” he went on.
“It has always been the position that people with serious medical conditions, in need of urgent or on-going medical treatment qualified for a discretionary medical card.
“While this is still the stated position there has been a defacto change of policy and now many cancer and motor neuron patients are not qualifying for medical cards.”
He said many elderly patients between 60 and 90 are being targetted.
“Many hold fully current, fully valid medical cards, assessed, approved and issued by the Health Service Executive, with expiry dates up to the year 2020.
Their medical cards are now been reviewed despite their current status. They are being punished by this Government to satisfy the greed of bankers and bondholders.