Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has today (Wednesday) welcomed the confirmation from the HSE that all children under 18 with a cancer diagnosis will be issued with a medical card for five years in recognition of the burden which is placed on a family when such a diagnosis is made.

 “Having friends who struggled with medical card applications at a time when their child was very ill with cancer brought home to me the unnecessary stress and strain that this process causes at an already difficult time for families.  The card was eventually issued but the process of gathering financial documentation when you need to be in hospital with your child is extremely difficult. 

 “I had raised my concerns with Minister Varadkar who referred my representations on to the Clinical Advisory Group on Medical Cards.  I am delighted that this Advisory Group who were reviewing the operation of the Medical Card system, have now recommended this change to the HSE and it has been acted upon.

 “The decision takes effect from today July 1st and will be a welcome relief to families who do not need any additional stress at such a difficult time.