Hands off the Medical Card - Tynan

HSE Card
Medical Card under threat



Cork Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan has warned the government against introducing prescription charges for Medical Card holders saying that the move would lead to the gradual abolition of the free Medical Card scheme.


Cllr. Tynan said that past experience has shown that token charges generally start small and as a temporary measure but eventually increase and become permanent.  This had happened with hospital bed charges and A&E charges and would most certainly happen with the Medical Card.


“If a prescription fee is introduced for medical card holders it is only a matter of time before it is followed by a dispensing fee and a fee to see the doctor.  It would inevitably end with the abolition of the Medical Card or its conversion into a treatment subsidy instead of an entitlement”, said Cllr. Tynan.


“Instead of introducing a prescription charge for Medical Card holders the government should be extending the free Medical Card scheme to the entire population as is the norm in many European countries.  Once again it is the most vulnerable and marginalised people in society who are being targeted to pay for the economic crisis caused by the wealthiest who have been ring-fenced against any financial penalties for their wrongdoing”, he said.


Cllr. Tynan once again questioned the continuing presence in government of Mary Harney as Minister for Health saying she was there only as a buffer to take flak from Fianna Fáil and Green Party ministers who could blame her for such decisions. “Minister Harney has a vendetta against the public health service.  She is intent on dismantling it and this is just another step along that road.  This proposal must be opposed and members of those parties supporting such a proposal must not escape the wrath of those people whose health service is being attacked”.


Issued Sunday 15th November 2009

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics