September 27th, 2014
Earlier this year, we wrote out to everyone living with Motor Neurone Disease who has contact with our organisation and asked them to provide us with information about their Medical Card situation.
We asked if people had the medical card before they were diagnosed with MND and if not how long it took to get the Medical Card once they were diagnosed with MND
We also asked people if they had any further issues once they received the Medical Card or if they had to re-apply and also how long they were granted with the Medical card for.
We wrote out to 276 people with MND and the response rate was average as 46% of people that were contacted came back to us with their responses (127 people in total).
- 86.6% of people with Motor Neurone Disease that responded to the survey have the medical card
- 6.3% of people that responded don’t have the medical card at all
- 3.1% of people that responded have had their cards withdrawn or have been refused
- 2.4% of individuals that responded didn’t apply for the card at all for different reasons
- 1.6% were in the process of applying
We also asked people to share any additional information with regards to the application process and their experience in obtaining the medical card proved to be very mixed.
47% of the people that responded reported that they had a positive experience with the medical card process. 39% of people that responded reported that they had a negative experience with the medical card process.
Some people with MND had no problem getting a medical card, had it renewed quite easily and were just asked to submit some more personal information and they were granted the card.
However, some people were asked to submit more information but felt the process was stressful, information was asked about income details and in some instances people had to apply up to three times. Some people mentioned that they had to get a person in authority to help them with the process as well as involving their local radio station to get their voice heard.
Others reported that their card is currently on hold and under review. Some people are being told by their pharmacist that their medical card has been cancelled. Others said that numerous calls were made to the department to find out an answer, some people said their medical card was being reduced to GP only card. Others reported that they had not got a response to the appeal at all. And finally, discretionary cards were granted after a lot of stress was caused to the person with MND and their family.
In June of this year the association was asked to attend a meeting with the then Minister James Reilly in Hawkins House to discuss the Medical Card issues. From that meeting it was decided that the HSE and Department of Health would put together a panel to review the application process and the entitlement criteria for medical cards. It is expected that this panel will report in September.
So to conclude there is a consultation happening internally in the HSE around medical cards. We have had no feedback as of yet. So we will await more information from this and will communicate the outcome of this to our members in an email format and well as on our website imnda.ie under the News section.
Also if you or someone you know hasn’t returned a form, please do so as soon as possible (even if you don’t have a medical card). All information will be held in a confidential manner.
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