After years of lobbying the Government to extend medical card provision for children with Down syndrome, DSI is delighted with the announcement that the Bill to provide children with disabilities, in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance with medical cards has finally been published. This outcome brings huge relief and reassurance to our members.
The final step in the process is getting the legislation passed by members of the Oireachtas. When making the announcement, the Minister for Health Simon Harris said he looks forward to working with all sides of the Oireachtas “to pass this legislation as quickly as possible”.
Meanwhile, Minister for State with Responsibility for Disability Finian McGrath said: “This is a good day and I particularly want to acknowledge and thank all the people with disabilities, their parents and families, voluntary groups and organisations who have campaigned on this issue over many years. This is your day.”
The latest figures show that the initiative will benefit nearly 9,800 children who are not currently eligible for a medical card.
The on-line registration is now LIVE and parents will be able to use the DCA medical cards from June 1st 2017. You can register here.
We here in Down Syndrome Ireland contacted the Department of Health and they advised for parents to please register as soon as possible after the online registration system goes live on 1st May.
How the new DCA medical card will work:
• For a child in receipt of DCA but who currently does not have a medical card, the parent or guardian will register for the scheme either online or through a paper-based form.
• For a child who is currently eligible for a medical card (under discretion or otherwise) and is confirmed to be in receipt of DCA, the HSE will automatically issue them a medical card.
• For a child who is currently eligible for a GP Visit Card (under discretion or otherwise), this card will automatically be upgraded to a full medical card.