Government urged to honour over 70s medical card changes

Government urged to honour over 70s medical card changes

The Government has been urged to deliver on its commitment to reduce the qualifying threshold for medical cards for people aged over 70. Picture: Pexels

The Government has been urged to deliver on its commitment to reduce the qualifying threshold for medical cards for people aged over 70.

The Government pledged in Budget 2020 to reduce the qualifying threshold for those over the age of 70 and to reduce the costs of prescription charges as well as costs associated with the drugs refund scheme.

Cork North Central TD Colm Burke (FG) said this commitment has not yet been delivered on.

He called on his own party and the government to honour the commitment made in Budget 2020, saying over 70s should not be forced to wait for Budget 2021 to see action on this.

“In the 2020 budget, we had a clear commitment to over 70s to increase the qualifying criteria from €500 to €550 per week for those who are single, widows or widowers,” Mr Burke said.

“For a married couple, we had increased the qualifying criteria from €900 to €1,050.

“That has not yet occurred,” he added.

“There was also a commitment to reduce the prescription charge by 50c per prescription and that the drug refund scheme would be reduced from €124 to €114 - in other words, the maximum you would pay under the drug refund scheme would be €114 per month.

“That has not occurred."

Mr Burke placed a motion before the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting recently calling on the party to honour and deliver on this commitment.

“The Government should deliver and we should not have to wait for the Budget for it to be delivered on,” he said.

Mr Burke said Fine Gael unanimously endorsed his motion, and that as a result, Ministers have been requested to deliver on the commitment.

“People over 70 should not have to wait until the next budget,” he added.

“The commitment was made and the legislation is in place.

“We must now deliver on that commitment,” he concluded.

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