The Irish Medical Organisation has claimed there are persistent administrative problems with the medical card scheme with patients having to wait up to six months for their card.

The organisation says major delays in renewing cards means some patients can not get their medicines and that their health is being compromised.

The HSE says it has been moving to a new centralised applications system which will be more efficient.

It is promising a 15 day turnaround time for all properly completed application forms.

The HSE says it plans to launch an online tracking system for applications and a dedicated telephone line and text service.

The issue is to be discussed at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children tomorrow.