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New health legislation from Fine Gael will see more children with a disability receive a full medical card. That’s according to Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton, who is highlighting a new Bill which will mean that all children in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) will automatically be entitled to a full medical card.

“At the moment, approximately 33,000 children with disabilities qualify for DCA. This is then paid directly to their parents on a monthly basis. While the majority of these children hold full medical cards, 9,800 of them do not, and this legislation, when passed, will mean that these children will now receive medical cards.

“My Fine Gael colleague, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, introduced the Health Amendment Bill to Cabinet last week, together with Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath. Budget 2017 provided for the extension of medical cards to all children in receipt of DCA which was a commitment in our Programme for Government which recognises the additional medical costs many parents of children with disabilities face”, said Minister Stanton.

“The HSE has been working to produce both a paper-based and online pre-registration system which will be available from 1st May and will go live on 1st June. It will operate as follows:

· Any child in receipt of DCA who does not have a medical card, the parent or guardian will need to register for the scheme either online or through a paper-based form.

· Any child currently eligible for a medical card (discretionary or otherwise) and confirmed to be receiving DCA, will be automatically issued a medical card

· Any child currently eligible for a GP Visit Card (discretionary or otherwise), will automatically be upgraded to a full medical card.