Taoiseach needs to extend the time limit for Terminal Illness Medical Cards to two years
- He has the power to extend the time limit under the 1970 Health Act
Speaking in the Dáil, Labour Leader and Health Spokesperson Alan Kelly has asked the Taoiseach to extend the time limit for Terminal Illness Medical Cards from one to two years.
Deputy Kelly was speaking after the terminal illness campaigner John Wall wrote to Minister Stephen Donnelly rejecting Government proposals in relation to widening the remit of Terminal Illness Medical Cards.
Deputy Kelly said:
“In his letter to the Minister, John Wall said ‘I would love nothing more than to dedicate whatever time I have remaining solely to my family, creating memories that will last & not having to pursue a campaign which seeks to do nothing other than ensure you implement a change which you support.’
“The proposals in the long-term regarding finance, communications and other matters are laudable and I endorse them. However, this does not do anything for those facing into a terminal illness in the short term, it does not guarantee them a medical card.
“This is something you unequivocally support, it’s a Programme for Government Commitment on page 46. This is not acceptable, I am asking you one last time before the publication of the CAG Report, to do what’s right and to extend the time limit for Terminal Illness Medical Cards from one to two years. You have the power to do it under the 1970 Health Act, please just do so.
“John Wall is a friend of mine, he is terminally ill and has spent two years of his life campaigning for this, the Taoiseach needs to stop dithering and do the right thing to allow him to spend whatever time has left with his loved ones.