Closure of local medical card offices slammed

Tynan warns that centralisation of medical card applications will end discretionary and emergency medical cards

Ted Tynan
Ted Tynan

The Workers’ Party in Cork have expressed concern at the imminent closure of local medical card units around the country and the centralisation of all medical card applications in Dublin.


Mayfield Workers Party spokesman Ted Tynan said that the closure of local medical card offices would spell the end for the issuing of discretionary medical cards where local officers would look at individual needs on a case by case basis.   In future, he said, there would be blanket refusals with no discretion locally where special cases arise.


“Up to now local officers could take into account special aspects of particular cases where a sudden and expensive medical issue arose where someone was marginally over the limit or someone had genuine financial circumstances which didn’t fit the norm.  In addition it will no longer be possible to provide “emergency cards” where a person has a sudden onset of a serious medical condition involving expensive treatment.  In such cases a ruling could previously be made locally but now it seems all discretion is to be removed.”, said Mr. Tynan.


“This is once again a victory for outright bureaucracy over commonsense.  A faceless mandarin at HSE headquarters has taken a purely cost related decision with no room for a human input. A person who could use their discretion in special cases has been replaced with a rubber stamp”, said the Workers’ Party spokesman.


Issued 25th March 2009

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics