Thursday, 15 December 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
311. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that parliamentary questions on medical cards for constituents are not always responded to by the Health Service Executive; the procedures he has put in place to ensure a full and proper response to members questions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40479/11]
Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): To streamline the processing of medical cards the HSE implemented its decision to centralise the processing of all new applications and renewals of medical cards at the Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) in Dublin from the 1st of July this year.
After the centralisation of the service PCRS reported that they were receiving approximately 20,000 applications a week. PCRS estimate that 80% of complete applications are processed within 15 working days.
In June of this year PCRS circulated an information bulletin to all Oireachtas members. As part of the bulletin members were provided with details of how information on medical cards could be obtained outside of the PQ process. The information provided included: PCRS contact names; a dedicated phone number; a dedicated fax number; and a dedicated email address; and details on how to access information through the online enquiry form www.medicalcard.ie.
Providing the above service does not lessen the HSEs requirement to respond in a timely manner to Parliamentary Questions. The Executive is very aware of its obligations in this regard and attempts to answer all questions referred to it as quickly as possible. There is regular liaison between my Department and the HSE on this matter.
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