Tag Archives: John Wall

Medical campaigners John Wall and Vicky Phelan

This morning.

The Irish Examiner has seen hundreds of pages of analysis from the Department of Health and Department of Education that show the departments ‘are closely monitoring social media and keeping detailed accounts of topics that have criticised and praised them throughout the pandemic’.

Via Irish Examiner:

Despite hundreds of pages of analysis, only two are dedicated to misinformation.

Certain journalists or columnists come up repeatedly in the Department of Health’s analysis, including but not limited to staff from the Irish Examiner, RTÉ, Newstalk, Virgin Media, as well as other major newspapers and public figures.

Notable health professionals including Dr Holohan feature extensively, as does Dr Maithiú Ó Tuthuail, who later found himself at the centre of a political scandal over leaked documents.

Campaigners Dr Ilona Duffy, John Wall, and Vicky Phelan all feature in the analysis of critical tweets about cancer screenings.

Government monitoring social media of journalists, Tony Holohan, Vicky Phelan and others (Irish Examiner)



Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly

Last night.

Patient advocate and father-of- three John Wall, aged 49, from Quin, Co Clare, who, following a diagnosis of terminal prostate cancer, had his Emergency Medical Card abruptly revoked and then restored last year by then Minister for Health Simon Harris.

John had got assurances that 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, would be addressed.

However, all reference to the card was omitted from Budget 2021 material supplied yesterday.


Previously: John Wall on Broadsheet

From top: John Wall, Minister for Health Simon Harris; Labour TD Alan Kelly speaking in Dáil last night

Last night.

In the Dáil.

Labour TD Alan Kelly raised the case of John Wall – in light of claims that medical cards will be provided for people who are terminally ill.

He said:

“On the provision of medical cards for people who are terminally ill, I see that the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris, has announced that he is doing something about the matter.

He said he had asked the HSE to deal with it.

I want to make a commitment to Mr John Wall who has fought for this measure for the last year and to whom I spoke earlier today.

I have got to know him quite well and admire him.

He is a man with a terminal illness and wants to know where the measure is budgeted for. It is either budgeted for or it is not.

It cannot just be a case of asking the HSE and it coming back in a few weeks to state it can do it.

The provision of medical cards for terminally ill patients is either covered by a budget line or it is not.

If it is, where is it covered?

A 24-month profile is probably what is needed because we have to have some way of dealing with the matter.

I want to see where provision is made and want to see the details.

Until I see them, it does not exist and I want it to. I want the Minister to show it to me.

I will congratulate him on the specific item if he does, but I cannot see it. I want it to be proved that provision has been made.”

Yesterday: Extended

Previously: Result

From top: John Wall, Minister for Health Simon Harris; Tweet from Minister Harris this afternoon.

This afternoon.

Patient advocate John Wall writes;

No words to describe how grateful I am to Minister Simon Harris and his team. More detail to follow over next few months but Terminal Illness Card eligibility criterion WILL be extended. Special thanks to Alan Kelly [Labour TD] and Stephen Donnelly [Fianna Fail TD] also.Medicalcard – No Scandal!

In fairness.

Previously: Result

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

From top: Irish medical cards: John Wall.

Early last month, Father-of-three John Wall, who who was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer, revealed that his emergency medical card was reviewed six months after it was issued, and then revoked two months after that.

A lot has happened since.

John Wall writes:

‘It seems like a lifetime ago now, but it’s just over 8 weeks since I put out that infamous tweet about my medical card or to be precise, the fact that I did not have one as a result of The HSE’s decision to take it back.

I’m sure if they could turn back time, I would be top of their list to appease.

Their decision to repeatedly ignore one simple question has backfired dramatically.

Why was my medical card, that was granted as a result of a terminal diagnosis, subsequently cancelled based on a means test, which according to The Department of Health’s own website never applied?”

So what’s happened since….. It’s been a busy spell with lots of welcome publicity on the issue.

Remember, I’m speaking out on behalf of the thousands that are unable, that are stuck in a system their unable to navigate and are screaming for help without being heard.

Until I see decisions regarding medical cards being taken based on the patients needs rather than the size of their wallet, I will continue to shout.

I’ve raised several important issues with The Ombudsman’s Office, mostly pertaining to the administration of The Medical Card Scheme, all of which have been upheld and are currently being investigated.

In fact as a result of these complaints, a review is also underway within The HSE as to how the scheme is governed.

Of note also is the fact that The Ombudsman published a report in January 2018 in relation to The Treatment Abroad Scheme.

My experience of attempting to even submit an application for life prolonging treatment abroad was thwarted by my consultant qand as a consequence, I was unable to use the scheme.

How many patients are treated in a similar fashion, but unlike myself do not have private cover to fall back on and as a result do not receive the life prolonging surgery that I was fortunate to be able to have?

Running alongside all of the above is my forthcoming meeting with Minister Simon Harris which takes place at the end of this month.

This meeting is crucial as it will I hope, lead to a solution that will ensure a more transparent and equitable medical card system for all.

I’m not advocating medical cards for all but I am seeking fairness.

I have encountered so many people and heard of so many stories, where citizens of this state are being abandoned simply because of a box that cannot be ticked by a departmental official with scant regard for the person involved.

On a positive note, this whole debacle has allowed be to utilise the traction to create awareness surrounding men’s health, both physical and mental.

I’ve found that men in particular are reticent to discuss their health, most especially when it pertains to certain parts of their anatomy that ordinarily we brag about!

Prostate Cancer has brought about changes that are life changing and for me that includes erectile dysfunction and slight incontinence also.

I’m not ashamed of who I am nor what I’ve got, because inside I’m still the same person.

That’s one thing my illness will never take away.

I’ll finish by reminding you all to take nothing for granted, enjoy the simple things that life has to offer and never shy away from telling those close to you that you love them.

John Wall

Previously: John Wall on Broadsheet

Cancer sufferer John Wall (above) has secured a meeting with the Minister for Health

John Wall has been living with Stage 4 prostrate cancer for the past two years.

Over the last few weeks, Mr Wall has been tweeting about how his emergency medical card had been revoked eight months after he received it, despite the Department of Health website previously claiming such cards would be valid for 18 months.

Mr Wall, an air traffic controller at Shannon Airport, complained to the Ombudsman Peter Tyndall and recently claimed the office attempted to close his case without advising him or addressing his concerns.

And he kept on tweeting, gathering followers with every tweet.

Yesterday John was  told how he now has a meeting with the Minister for Health Simon Harris will take place next month, the Office of the Ombudsman is now carrying out a complete review and all his complaints have been upheld.

In fairness.

Related: Ombudsman raises concerns about HSE medical card policy (Jennifer Bray, The Irish Times)

Yesterday: Medical Card Sans Frontières

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From top: John Wall and medical card entitlement for ‘Frontier Workers’



Frontier worker?

Rollingnews/ Clare FM