Dáil Éireann - Volume 458 - 14 November, 1995

Written Answers. - Medical Card.

81. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Health the plans, if any, he has to introduce a standard medical card application form that would be used by all health boards in place of the variety of formats now in use; if he will introduce a standard claim form in respect of the drug cost subsidisation scheme applicable across all health boards and the disabled person's maintenance allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16647/95]

Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): The health boards are currently carrying out a review of the administration of the medical card system and community drug schemes. I understand that the group involved in this exercise will be recommending that claim forms in respect of these schemes should be standardised across all health boards. The operation of the community drug schemes, including the documentation used, is also the subject of discussions with the Irish Pharmaceutical Union for the purposes of making the system more effective. It is the intention to implement standardisation in the documentation used for these schemes at an early date.

As the Deputy may be aware, the disabled person's maintenance allowance, (DPMA), scheme is in the process of being transferred to the Department of Social Welfare. Responsibility for the payment of disabled person's maintenance allowance transferred to the Department of Social Welfare on 1 August 1995, and it is expected that responsibility for the administration of [233] disabled person's maintenance allowance will transfer to the Department of Social Welfare in early 1996. I have no plans to change the existing arrangements in health boards pending this transfer.