The Workers’ Party have said that the announcement that the 2017 HSE Service Plan will budget for 24,000 fewer Medical Cards is a plain admission that severe health cuts are back on the agenda and seriously undermines the government’s claims of a recovery in the economy.
Dublin Central Workers’ Party Councillor Éilis Ryan said that replacing Medical Cards with GP visit cards was a retrograde step however one looks at. She said “We know that Ireland has an ageing population and it is clear that a number of serious medical conditions continue to rise in this country, therefore one would expect a rise in the number of full Medical Cards, not a fall. Thus health cuts are back on the agenda”.
Cllr. Tyan said, “Even if the number of Medical Cards was being increased by this 24,000, it is still totally inadequate and the Workers’ Party demands a comprehensive health service, free at the point of delivery. Once again, however, we see that the health service continue to falter as the two-tier system is favoured by this government”.
“The effects of previous cuts in addition to the policy of privatisation and outsourcing of nursing and other health service roles continue to beleaguer the public health system in this country while those with the money can continue to avail of private treatment”.
“We are told that the economy is in recovery but here is firm evidence to the contrary when medical cards can be simply cut at the stroke of a pen. Once again it shows the uncaring and callous face of Fine Gael and those who prop up this government”.