Dáil Éireann - Volume 580 - 17 February, 2004
Written Answers - Long-Term Illness Scheme.
Mr. R. Bruton Mr. R. Bruton
356. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will consider extending the long-term illness card cover to include Wegners disease, which is debilitating and responds well to medication, making it particularly appropriate for inclusion in long-term medication cover. [4511/04]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Mr. Martin: Under the 1970 Health Act, a health board may make arrangements for the supply without charge of drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances to people suffering from the following conditions and who are not medical card holders 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, thalidomide and acute leukaemia. Wegners disease is not included in the list of conditions covered by the long-term illness scheme.
A range of other schemes provide assistance towards the cost of approved drugs and medicines for people with significant ongoing medical expenses. People who cannot, without undue hardship, arrange 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. The CEO has regard to the applicant's financial circumstances in determining eligibility. 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 CEO 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 LTI scheme, can use the drugs payment scheme. Under this scheme, no individual or family unit pays more than €78 per calendar month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines.
Dáil Éireann 580 Written Answers Long-Term Illness Scheme.