Speaking in the wake of Tuesday’s Dáil debate on a Sinn Féin motion automatically providing medical cards for very sick children who are in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA), I stated that this is an example of how concrete measures can be achieved using the new political dynamic in the Dáil.
I, like many other public representatives, have seen the effect on families of having a medical card withdrawn and the uncertainty that surrounds care provision in the aftermath. The appeals process placed great strain on families, who should have been entitled to a card in the first place.
While welcoming the support of all parties in the Dáil, it must be pointed out that this has been an issue for a long time. As a public representative in Mayo for many years, I have seen and heard at first hand the plight of families who were refused a medical card for a sick child, or had one removed suddenly.
It was wrong to ever remove medical cards from sick children. I hope that legislation comes forward quickly to give effect to the wish of the majority of TDs. Sinn Féin has the legislation prepared and therefore, there is no reason why this could not be in place before Budget 2017.
The reality is that this issue is one of the most time sensitive issues of all. I will be using my position as a Senator to keep pressure on the Minister for Health to deliver for the children of Mayo and all across the State.