Minister for Health Simon Harris together with Minister Finian McGrath today published the Health (Amendment) Bill which means that 9,800 children in receipt of a Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA), who have a disability, will receive a full medical card.

Commenting Minister Harris said; “I’m really pleased to be publishing this Bill today. There are 33,000 parents who receive DCA for their children, but 9,800 of these children currently do not have a full medical card. This Bill rights this wrong and I hope it will of assistance and relieve some of the stress these families experience. I would especially like to acknowledge the trojan work done by Our Children’s Health who have worked long and hard to make this happen. I look forward to working with all sides of the Oireachtas to pass this legislation as quickly as possible”.

Minister for State Finian McGrath added; “I’m delighted that this is one less battle that parents and families of children with a disability will have to face. This previous medical card omission added to a constant struggle for families and caused further hardship and hurt. The provision of these 9,800 full medical cards was a vital element contained in the Programme for Government and Budget 2017 copper fastened this commitment. 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 that this initiative will benefit nearly 9,800 children who are not currently eligible for a medical card. As a result over 33,000 children will be eligible for a full medical card from June of this year. The HSE has been working to produce both a paper-based and an online registration system which is going live on 1st May, with parents being able to use their new medical cards from 1st June 2017.

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.