Elderly must refuse to hand back medical cards – Bannon

Deputy James Bannon speaking in Dail Eireann this week on the Health Bill 2008 slammed the Government for the withdrawal of universal medical cards for over 70s.

“The elderly must continue their protest. They must refuse to return their medical cards.

“With everything they have under threat, from medical cards to nursing home care to pensions and even nutritional supplements, the elderly must continue the protest they initiated after the Budget and take to the streets again in outright defiance.

“The Government promised that the vulnerable would be protected in Budget 09. Instead it took the cutback equivalent of a sledgehammer to provision for our elderly citizens. That hammer crashed down on essential medical care provision for the over 70s.

“ Some 84 Government TDs including Deputies O’Rourke and Kelly who supposedly represent the wellbeing of the elderly in Longford/Westmeath, voted against reversing this decision.

“Why should Government TDs vote to destroy the progress that has been made in improving the health of so many elderly people in the last eight years?

“Why should the elderly hand back their medical cards? They paid a high taxation rate but the Government squandered the money. Universal provision of medical cards has shown a massive payback in terms of health among the over 70s.

“It is morally, perhaps even legally wrong to deprive one elderly person of an essential medical card which for many equates to essential care, while the Government squanders millions on storing obsolete e-voting machines and other follies.”


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