4 June 2002
TD calls for Medical Card extension as CSO figures show gap
The Dublin South-West Sinn Fein TD, Seán Crowe, has called for the new Programme for Government to extend the Medical Card scheme to people on the minimum wage or under 18 and in full-time education.
Deputy Crowe was speaking after new Central Statistics Office figures show that more than a quarter of the population is without either a Medical Card or private health insurance cover. He said:
``The new Programme for Government should extend medical cover, remove the two-tier health system and establish a single waiting list that ensures access to treatment on the basis of need. It is the right thing to do and makes sense for the people's future health.''
Note to Editors:-
- The figures, based on a survey on health last year, also showed that almost one-fifth of those questioned had consulted their GP in the previous two weeks.
- Almost 26 per cent of those aged 18 and over were covered by a Medical Card while a further 46 per cent said they had private health insurance; just 2 per cent had both.
- About 10 per cent of employed people said that they were holders of Medical Cards. This compared with 47 per cent of unemployed people and 54 per cent of people not economically active. In contrast, almost 57 per cent of the employed had health insurance.
- Almost 20 per cent of adults on outpatient waiting lists had been waiting for six months or more and 7 per cent had been on a waiting list for over a year. Holders of Medical Cards waited for longer.
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