19 January 2012

Medical Card Renewal Process to be Greatly Improved – Fitzgerald

Local T.D., Minister Frances Fitzgerald, has welcomed news of major reforms to the medical card renewal process.

“Over the last number of months I have had an influx of enquiries to my office in relation to concerns over delays in processing medical card renewal application forms. Having raised this as an issue, I am pleased to inform people that the system is undergoing major reform and that this will mean improvements for those awaiting a decision on their medical card renewal application,” explained Minister Fitzgerald.

“Under the new system, a medical card holder who genuinely engages with the review of their medical cards will not have their entitlement withdrawn before that review is complete. The HSE is undertaking significant changes to the review process, which will render it far less administrative and therefore quicker and more efficient,” elaborated Fitzgerald.
“From January on, the HSE is easing the review process for pensioners. This means that reviews for medical card holders 66 years of age or over will operate on a self-assessment basis as happens for the over 70s. It remains the policy that medical card holders are obliged to notify the HSE to any changes in their circumstances which would disqualify them for eligibility for a medical card,” continued Fitzgerald.

“As part of the reform, being overseen by Minister Shorthall, GPs will now be able to maintain the eligibility of their patients throughout the renewal process and will be able to add new babies to the system through an online facility. These reforms will hugely improve the system and medical card holders throughout Lucan and Clondalkin will benefit greatly from these efficiencies, particularly medical card holders between the ages of 66 and 70. I am pleased that these measures have been introduced and look forward to the delivery of a more efficient service,” concluded Fitzgerald.