In a statement today Brid Smith, People Before Profit TD, is calling on the Government to immediately re-instate all drugs that have been removed from the GMS Medical Card scheme since 2014
“The Government’s proposed reduction in the Autumn Budget of the threshold in the Medical Card is pointless while they are systematically removing the availability of key drugs from the Medical Card List.” according to Deputy Smith.
One example of a drug recently removed is Macushield which prevents the growth of brown spots within the eye, a consequence of Type 2 Diabetes which affects a huge cohort of pensioners.
The additional cost to an individual will amount to almost €1,000 per year for the patient with Type 2 Diabetes. This will be an enormous burden on a very vulnerable section of the population.
In 2008 when the Fianna Fail/Green Government attempted to remove the Medical Card from Pensioners, there was a national revolt of the Grey Voters against the move and the Government were forced to retreat following protests of tens of thousands of pensioners.
This Government and their predecessor are removing the value of the GMS Medical Card Scheme by stealth.
Deputy Brid Smith has stated: “This is an outrageous attack on those dependent on the Medical Card. We have to establish how many drugs are and have been removed and how many people will be affected by these moves.
“I have asked the Minister to clarify the number and names of drugs removed and the number of people who will be effected by this.
“In one case brought to my attention an individual pensioner will have to pay out €82 per month from their OAP allowance. This is unconscionable and must be stopped. I call upon the Minister Simon Harris to reinstate the drugs removed from the scheme.”