Taoiseach: No compensation for people who lost medical cards

The Disability Federation of Ireland said that it is '"disappointed" that the Government will not re-imburse people who are having their discretionary medical card returned.

Earlier today, the Taoiseach signalled that there will be no compensation.

"Well obviously we very much welcome the change that has come about in relation to the medical card, but it all has to be seen in a context," said Alan Dunne, deputy CEO of the Disability Federation of Ireland.

"People with disabilities are already carrying a hige burden as a result of cutbacks …over the last couple of years.

"So we are disappointed to hear that there wouldn't be compensation made in that regard."

Enda Kenny faced a barrage of questions again in the Dáil following the decision yesterday to return 15,000 cards taken away since 2011.

Opposition parties highlighted some cases of thousands of euro being spent by families after cards were withdrawn.

However, Deputy Kenny would not bow to calls for such money to be refunded.

"(The) Minister's already dealt with the question of compensation," he said.

"The important thing here, Deputy Ó Caoláin, is that the government have made a very clear decision to provide extra money to return the 15,000 cards...who wither held a medical card or a GP card on a discretionary basis and who had completed the eligibility review between July 1, 2011 and May 31, 2014."

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte said that he believes the Government simply "cannot afford" to compensate people.

Minister Rabbitte said that the u-turn was the right decision, but there is no room to refund people for medical costs.

"People have to understand that this country is still in economic recovery" he said.

"I'm very glad to see that 15,300 people will have their cards restored - but the payment of compensation can't be afforded by the Government."

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