Dáil Éireann - Volume 616 - 21 March, 2006
Written Answers. - Medical Cards.
Mr. S. Ryan Mr. S. Ryan
198. Mr. S. Ryan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the reason the medical card does not cover full chiropody cost for older people; and if she proposes to address this issue. [10394/06]
Ms Harney Ms Harney
Ms Harney: There is no statutory obligation on the Health Service Executive, HSE, to provide chiropody services to general medical services, GMS, patients. However, in practice arrangements are made to provide these services. Prior to the establishment of the HSE, the nature of the arrangements for chiropody and the level of service provided was a matter for individual health boards and a degree of variation in practice developed over time. Priority is usually given to certain groups of people, including people who are medical card holders aged 65 years and over. In several regions the service is provided by private chiropodists by arrangement with the HSE.
I consider it inappropriate for private chiropodists who provide services on behalf of the HSE to charge patients a top-up fee, and I have conveyed this view formally to the HSE. My Department requested the HSE to initiate a review of the fee arrangements in place for the provision of chiropody services, with a view to ensuring that such additional fees will no longer be levied on persons in receipt of this service. The HSE recently advised me that it has initiated a review of chiropody services.
Dáil Éireann 616 Written Answers. Medical Cards.