08 Aug 2022

Cowen slams medical card delays

76,000 people registered for medical cards in Limerick

Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly Barry Cowen has called on the HSE to allocate additional resources to its medical card section to clear the current backlog of applications.

He made the comments after it was revealed that information being sent by applicants is taking up to two months to process. The HSE claims the delays are as a result of staff vacancies.

Deputy Cowen commented, “It is completely unfair to expect people to wait months for a decision on their medical card application. The card provides much needed access to medical services, and for older people it is seen as a safety net for them if they fall ill."

“I have been liaising directly with the HSE’s medical card section on behalf of constituents and the current delays are extremely frustrating. The HSE have indicated to me this week that they are only now assessing information received in April; this is not acceptable especially when considering many people are dependent on their card or are applying after a recent diagnosis," he continued.

“These significant delays could be easily addressed if more staff were allocated to the medical card section. I am calling on Minister Harris and the HSE to ensure that this staffing issue is resolved so that these extensive backlogs can be reduced.”

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