Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
280. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will provide a schedule to the full range of allowances and entitlements a holder of a medical card can avail of; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15282/09]
Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): Full eligibility for health services is granted to persons who, in the opinion of the Health Service Executive are unable to provide general practitioner, medical and surgical services for themselves and their dependants without undue hardship. Under the Health Act 2008, persons aged 70 years and over are statutorily entitled to a medical card should their gross income not exceed €700 per week for a single person or €1,400 per week for a couple. Determination of an individual’s eligibility status is the responsibility of the Health Service Executive.
Persons with full eligibility are entitled to general practitioner services, prescribed drugs, medicines and appliances, all in-patient public hospital services in public wards including consultant services, all out-patient public hospital services including consultant services, dental, ophthalmic and aural services and appliances, child health services, home nursing and a maternity and infant care service.
Other services such as allied health professional services may be available to medical card holders but are not based on a statutory entitlement. Medical card holders may also be entitled to free transport to school for children who live 3 miles or more from the nearest school, exemption from state examination fees in public second-level schools and financial help with buying school books. They are also exempt from paying the health levy and the income levy.
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