October 2, 2013

Tom Fleming, the Kerry South Independent TD, said, ‘It is very hard to comprehend how a modern civilised society can look at accounts rather than at individual people. There seems to be no discretion.’ Photograph: Don MacMonagle

 

An Independent TD said yesterday it was “very hard to comprehend the insensitivity” with which ill people were being dealt with by the removal of their medical cards

Yesterday, the HSE informed a 66-year-old woman from Dingle, Co Kerry, who suffers from breast cancer, that her appeal against the removal of her medical card was unsuccessful. 

Income threshold
Her 69-year-old husband, who is also ill and awaiting an operation, does not have a medical card either.

Both are dependant on the old age pension, have no private medical insurance and are €30 over the annual income threshold.

The couple’s GP visit card has also been removed.

The woman said she has been fighting the removal of their entitlements since last May and is suffering from depression brought on by the threats to remove their entitlement.

She said that while she may be able to afford the €120 a month for her cancer medication, she does not have the money for any further medical procedures associated with her condition.

“If I didn’t have the cancer, I think I could cope. But we have no other income, and no private insurance,” she said yesterday.

Tom Fleming, the Kerry South Independent TD who has been trying to fight the couple’s case, said yesterday: “She has recurring cancer. Her husband is nearly 70. She’s a typical example of what I and other TDs are dealing with since the €20 million cut to the medical card budget.

‘Very insensitive’
“It is all very insensitive. I have seen the upset, the stress and the whole worry that is descending on vulnerable people.

“It is very hard to comprehend how a modern civilised society can look at accounts rather than at individual people. There seems to be no discretion.”

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