AN estimated 3,000 people in Co Donegal are still waiting on their medical cards as the Government finally admitted that tens of thousands of others throughout the country are also waiting for their cards to be issued.
The figure for this county – given to us by a HSE insider – comes as many people who need them urgently are forced to pay for expensive medicines while they wait for their applications and renewals to be processed.
One Donegal mother of three told us how she and her husband and one child had their cards renewed – only to be told two of her children’s applications had never been received.
This is despite the fact all five renewal forms were posted in the same envelope.
“This has meant that I’ve had to pay for medicines for one of my sons and we’ve had to borrow money to pay for it,” said the mother.
“We ring almost every day to complain. We’ve re-applied but they don’t seem to respond. It is driving us slowly mad.”
The Fianna Fáil health spokesperson Billy Kelleher has said the delay in issuing medical cards is having a devastating impact for patients throughout the country.
A new centralised system for issuing and renewing medical cards has resulted in long delays for patients around the country.
“Let the ones that are obvious through the system so people can continue with their treatment and their lives,” said Deputy Kelleher
“I don’t think we can start blaming processes for what seems to me to be an accounting exercise that is having a devastating impact on people’s lives.”
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