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Written Answers. - Long-Term Illness Scheme.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 334. Ms McManus Information on Liz McManus Zoom on Liz McManus  asked the Minister for Health and Children Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin  if he will include schizophrenia in the long-term illness book; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24838/02]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Persons suffering from any of the following conditions who are not already medical card holders may obtain without charge drugs and medicines for the treatment of that condition under the long-term illness scheme: mental handicap, mental illness (for persons under 16 years only), phenylketonuria, cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, haemophilia, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophies, parkinsonism and acute leukaemia. There are no plans to amend the long-term illness scheme to include persons with schizophrenia.

People who cannot, without undue hardship, arrange for the provision of medical services for themselves and their dependants may be entitled to a medical card. Eligibility for a medical card is solely a matter for the chief executive officer of the relevant health board to decide. In determining eligibility, the chief executive officer has regard to the applicant's financial circumstances. Health boards use income guidelines to assist in determining eligibility. However, where a person's income exceeds the guidelines, a medical card may be awarded if the chief executive officer considers that the person's medical needs or other circumstances would justify this. Medical cards may also be issued to individual family members on this basis.

Non-medical card holders, and people with conditions not covered under the long-term illness scheme, can use the drugs payment scheme. Under this scheme, no individual or family unit [1112] pays more than €65 per calendar month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines.


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