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‘I appreciate you are a busy man Minister but I am a dying one’

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A Clare man with terminal cancer has renewed his appeal for medical cards to be automatically extended to terminally ill patients and has been left waiting for a reply by the Minister for Health.

In November, Quin’s John Wall received a commitment from then Minister for Health Simon Harris (FG) that he would review the Terminal Illness Card.

John was diagnosed with Stage Four Prostate Cancer in 2017 and subsequently had his medical card revoked twice by the Health Service Executive (HSE). A full apology from the Department of Health and HSE followed over the medical card scandal. The “long-overdue” CAG report was due before the end of July, Harris previously advised.

Wall’s efforts to ensure easier access to Terminal Illness Medical Cards “for those of us unfortunate enough to have such a diagnosis” have continued and last week John wrote to Harris’ successor as Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly (FF) but has been left without a reply. The Wall family have had to rely on savings to get by and put their children through college as a result of costs incurred with the illness.

Were it not for the outbreak of COVID-19, John believes the issue would have been resolved. He is anxious that Minister Donnelly issue a reply before the Dáil summer recess, “My terminal illness will not pause as a result and my time is precious”.

“Whilst our lives have changed beyond recognition as a result of The COVID pandemic, one thing that remains constant is that those of us with a terminal diagnosis are still dying,” the 49 year old outlined.

He added, “I appreciate you are a busy man Minister Donnelly but I am a dying one and although I am doing well at present, that will change in due course”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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