Some 56,000 elderly people are still waiting on medical cards due to the Government failing to relax the income limitations that were promised last year's Budget.
This is the view of Labour Galway City West councillor, Niall McNeils, who described the situation as "unacceptable", especially three weeks out from Budget 2021.
Cllr McNelis is calling on the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, to bring into effect the health budget commitments from last year which relaxed the income criteria for medical cards and reduced prescription charges. The Budget commitments meant income limits for medical cards should have increased by €50 a week for a single person to €550, and to €1050 for a couple, by July.
A cut to prescription charges was also supposed to come into effect in July. "If the Government aren’t going to go ahead with these commitments," said Cllr McNelis, "they should clearly and definitely say so. How are the public supposed to trust the Government if they are already backtracking on previous commitments?"