A Health Service Executive decision to move all processing of medical cards to Finglas in Dublin will delay the process of obtaining a medical card for people in Donegal, Sinn Féin Cllr. Mick Quinn said. He said he and his Sinn Féin colleagues will campaign to overturn the decision.
Cllr. Quinn severely criticised management of the HSE West for not fighting to retain the processing of medical cards in Donegal.
“This is a terrible blow to the most vulnerable in Donegal,” Cllr. Quinn said, calling it “another attack on rural counties”.
“The ethos of the service was compassion and dignity,” said the councillor. “It was common practice for medical cards that were urgently required, particularly for people who were diagnosed with cancer, to be issued within a week.” But pointing to the track record of the Primary Care Reimbursement Service in Finglas, which took over the processing of medical cards for people over age 70, Cllr. Quinn said he had “absolutely no doubt” that such rapid turn-around times would no longer be possible.
The Health Service Executive, contacted yesterday afternoon, did not respond to a request for comment by the time of going to press.
More than 60 percent of Donegal people hold a medical card, “which in itself confirms the poverty being experienced by our people,” he said. “And for senior HSE West managers to be complicit in moving the service from the county is nothing short of scandalous.
“These managers have decided that it is now good enough for the marginalised in this county to have to deal with faceless people in Dublin who know absolutely nothing about the geography or needs of Donegal,” Cllr. Quinn said.