The HSE has said that medical card applicants are not required to provide proof of life-long conditions, when a card falls due for renewal.

It said that requests for up-to-date medical information from applicants appear to be being misconstrued.

The HSE said that the procedure for a medical card renewal is that where the individual is over the income limit and discretion is being applied, an updated medical report needs to be provided.

This is not to confirm that an individual continues to have a life-long condition, but rather to provide an update on medical treatment under way, which may result in costs for the family.

The HSE says it has reviewed its written correspondence and telephone recordings and is satisfied that where medical information was sought from applicants, it was done so appropriately and within the parameters of the scheme.

It said that applicants are required to provide information about any change in their medical circumstances, as part of the renewal process and to help in establishing eligibility.

The HSE said that the medical card scheme is based on the Health Act 1970 which provides for cards on the basis of financial means.

It said the executive must operate within the legal parameters of the scheme.

Medical card eligibility is reviewed on a regular basis and during last year 644,853 reviews were conducted.

The HSE said that at the end of February this year, assessments had been concluded in 482,866 cases and of this group 96.4% of people continued to hold their card.