John Wall (left) and Minister for Health Simon Harris

This evening.

Father-of- three John Wall, aged 48, from Quin, Co Clare, who following a diagnosis of terminal prostate cancer had his Emergency Medical Card abruptly revoked twice, writes:

I met today with Minister of Health Simon Harris and senior representatives from the Department of Health, Primary Care Reimbursement Service and the HSE.

The meeting lasted well over an hour.

A full apology was received from the Deprtment of Health and the HSE for my experience to date regarding the Medical Card fiasco

Initially, the minister committed to establishing a review group to ensure that my issues are not repeated. Items to be reviewed include the application process, patient communications and generally enhancing the process to ensure a more streamlined experience.

That group will be comprised of department officials, representatives from various NGOs, including the Irish Cancer Society, Marie Keating Foundation and myself. It will be established before the end of November.

Of significance, there was a commitment to review the Terminal Illness Card with specific reference to the current necessity to be have a prognosis of 12 months or less left to live.

I have campaigned for this period to be significantly extended as it is my firm belief that terminal patients should be entitled to a terminal illness card without the current limitation attached.

Of note is that, once approved, this type of card will never be reviewed nor ever expire.

Separately, I will be working alongside the National Cancer Control Programme as a patient representative which will give me a platform to influence the National Cancer Strategy from a patient’s perspective.

Overall, it was a very productive meeting that met expectations and will lead to significant change which will, in turn, lead to a significant overhaul of the Medical Card system and the associated application process.

I very much look forward to working alongside the various government departments for some time to come and very much welcome the minister’s intervention, commitment and time on issues that have personally become very important to resolve and, as a result of today’s meeting, I am confident they will be.

In fairness.

Previously: John Wall: Notes On A #medicalcardscandal

They Come Up Against A Wall

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