Medical Card – near fiasco

Calamity has really done it this time.

The Medical Card handout to the under sixes is to be funded at €37 million for about 240,000 children. The “free service” will suffer the same realisation that there is no such entity as a free lunch.That averages out as €154 per child for how much work for a GP per year?

In industrialised countries children have six to 8 upper respiratory tract infections per year.(Gwaltney JM et al New Engl J Med 1964;275:1261-8. – plus other illness including chest infections asthma in 16% of kids plus rotavirus diarrhoea in small kids etc. So parent education and common sense is important in dealing with childhood illnesses otherwide the demand would overwhelm the GPs ability to provide a service.

Looking at these figures, it is instructive to consider the collapse of value that Dr James Reilly puts on medical time and training.

The lack of respect shown to GPs in assuming that the government can bully any worker to supply a service at an unknown remuneration because “free” just means that the general taxpayer will pay.

Should the money not have been spent on the elderly and sick medical card holders. Medical card for kids should be on the basis of needs only.

Welfare spending should be targeted not universal.

The Prescription Charge

Can you imagine the bombastic pseudo-outrage that the minister would be spitting out at FF if they did any of this. €2.50 per item for the elderly with long precriptions —– this is onerous on the perople on social welfare and I have had some of my friends in Ballymun giving me abuse on this since yesterday.

Probity Exercise for €113 in medical card savings to the state.

This is just made for a political firestorm that will run and run. I can just imagine the outrage of those being denied medical cards when they really need them and qualify. The GMS staff should go out on a pre-emptive strike because of the predictable abuse they will get from the public, politicians (some of whom will have voted for this) and the media. Joe Duffy where are you in our hour of need?


Enda needs a few sensible minders. This stuff is crazy even in Mayo.