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Government slashes almost 3,000 medical cards in Donegal – McConalogue

Deputy Charlie McConalogue.

Deputy Charlie McConalogue.

FIGURES released to Fianna Fáil have revealed the full extent of cuts to medical cards in Donegal with 2,872 cards slashed in the 12 months to the beginning of September.

The number of medical cards in the county has been cut from 91,013 in September 2013 to 88,141 last September, this includes a reduction of almost 100 in the number of over 70s medical cards (from 14,257 to 14,186).

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Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has condemned the cuts. “These are appalling cuts and have had a major impact on people’s lives.

“I have consistently pointed out that the Government was engaged in a deliberate and disgraceful attack on people with medical cards. We now have clear evidence of the scale of the cuts. In one year alone almost 3,000 medical cards were taken off people in Donegal – all at the hands of Minister James Reilly.

“For two years the government has ignored the issue and denied that there was a deliberate policy to cut medical cards for people with serious illnesses and disabilities and the over 70s. It took the loss of hundreds of council seats to make the government sit up and listen.

“However despite claiming to stop these cuts and to begin restoring medical cards the Government is still taking cards away from people desperately in need of them.

“I am dealing with cases every week of people having their cards withdrawn and then being denied their cards again on appeal. It is astonishing that thousands of families are still enduring so much anguish, hurt and expense at the hands of this Government.”

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