Dáil Éireann - Volume 550 - 20 March, 2002
Written Answers. - Long-Term Illness Scheme.
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
 371. Mr. McDowell asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will amend the list for long-term illness cover to include all cancer related illnesses for the duration of the treatment. [8643/02]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Persons suffering from any of the following conditions who are not already medical card holders may obtain without charge drugs and medicines for the treatment of that condition under the long-term illness scheme: mental handicap; mental illness, for persons under 16 years only; phenylketonuria; cystic fibrosis; spina bifida; hydrocephalus; diabetes mellitus; diabetes insipidus; haemophilia; cerebral palsy; epilepsy; multiple sclerosis; muscular dystrophies; parkinsonism and acute leukaemia. There are no plans to amend this to include persons with cancer-related illnesses. People who cannot arrange without undue hardship for the provision of medical services for themselves and their dependants may be entitled to a medical card.
Eligibility for a medical card is solely a matter for the chief executive officer of the relevant health board to decide. In determining eligibility, the chief executive officer has regard to the applicant's financial circumstances. Health boards use income guidelines to assist in determining eligibility. However, where a person's income exceeds the guidelines, a medical card may be awarded if the chief executive officer considers that the person's medical needs or other circumstances would justify this. Medical cards may also be issued to individual family members on this basis. Non-medical card holders and people with conditions not covered under the long-term illness scheme can use the drugs payment scheme. Under this scheme, no individual or family unit pays more than €53.33 per calendar month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines.
Dáil Éireann 550 Written Answers. Long-Term Illness Scheme.