Government's timeframe for medical cards for 10,000 children 'not good enough' - Sinn Féin

The party is calling for the promised medical cards to be made available immediately

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Sinn Féin TD Louise O'Reilly. Image:

Sinn Féin says the Government's promise to give 10,000 more children medical cards after the next budget is "not good enough".

The party is putting down a motion in the Dáil today seeking the cards immediately for all children where families are in receipt of the Domicillary Care Allowance (DCA).

Announcing Fine Gael's Bill last week, Health Minister Simon Harris said he was very confident that he would be able to get cross-party support for the legislation when it is brought to the Oireachtas.

He also said it was his intention to provide the cards as soon as possible after the next budget.

However, Sinn Féin spokesperson Louise O'Reilly said that is not soon enough for people who need the cards now.

"Today a woman with a newborn baby who has Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect is in hospital [...] She wants to be able to take care of her daughter on a full-time basis," she said.

"She is entitled to the Domiciliary Care Allowance, and now she has to go and do battle with the system. Because that's how these families describe it - doing battle with the system for a medical card," she added. 

She also called on the Government to not oppose Sinn Féin's proposed motion, saying: "I hope it will garner the full support of the House to show these children, their parents and families, that severely sick and disabled children will not be neglected in our society."