Reilly faces growing pressure over medical card changes

Wednesday 30 April 2014 23.45
1 of 2
Fine Gael TDs told Minister Reilly of the pressure they are facing over the medical card isue
Fine Gael TDs told Minister Reilly of the pressure they are facing over the medical card isue
Deputy Walsh lost the whip after voting against the legislation for the Protection of Life during Pregnancy
Deputy Walsh lost the whip after voting against the legislation for the Protection of Life during Pregnancy

The Minister for Health is coming under increasing pressure from Fine Gael TDs to change the guidelines around discretionary medical cards.

At its Parliamentary Party meeting in Leinster House tonight more than 20 TDs said this was the number one issue in their constituencies.

The scale of anger around the withdrawal of medical cards is being voiced to Fine Gael TDs around Ireland.

They in turn have let Mr Reilly know in stark terms about the pressure this is putting them under.

Speaker after speaker told the minister of the worry and stress caused to people by the review of medical cards.

They detailed many cases of people on low incomes with medical conditions who have lost cards.

Outside the meeting a number of TDs said that Minister Reilly had in recent weeks indicated to them that he is looking at a "third tier" of medical cards.

This is understood to involve a possible broadening of the strict rules around discretionary cards.

TDs say it is not clear if legislation would be required to change these guidelines.

A spokesperson for Minister Reilly was unavailable for comment.

Walsh readmitted to Fine Gael after losing whip

Galway West TD Brian Walsh has been readmitted to the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party.

Deputy Walsh lost the party whip after voting against the legislation for the Protection of Life During Pregnancy.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny recommended his readmission at the parliamentary party meeting this evening.

Party Chairman Charlie Flanagan said: "Brian has consistently voted with the Government over the last ten months.

"He has been very active in recent weeks in his support of Fine Gael candidates running in the Local and Euro Elections in Galway," Mr Flanagan added.