Cancer Patients No Longer Guaranteed Medical Card

People on low incomes diagnosed with cancer will no longer receive a special medical card unless their condition is terminal.

Special medical cards are given to people over the "normal financial eligibility limit" but face high medical bills following an illness diagnosis.

Applications for, and renewals of, the medical cards will now face new scrutiny and national eligibility criteria, Health Minister James Reilly has said.

It is understood that doctors unrelated to a patient will now decide if a person

qualifies for a medical card.

Mr Reilly is quoted as saying: "In some cases this was because the person had cancer. In the past cancer struck terror into the heart of people and the prognosis was very poor.

"It is now a very different condition and ranges from being a desperate diagnosis to not such a bad diagnosis at all."


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