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”.