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Medical cards for the elderly - doctors criticised
[Posted: Thu 18/01/2001 www.irishhealth.com]
Voluntary groups representing older people have condemned the reaction of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) to the introduction of medical cards for everyone 70 years or older. Dr James Reilly, Chairman of the IMO General Practitioners Committee, had criticised the recent budget move as 'handing out free medical cards to people who can afford Golf Club fees'.
However, Age Action Ireland and the National Council on Ageing and Older People have both criticised the 'Golf Club' jibe and accused the IMO of attempting to protect doctors' rights to private practice, while claiming to express concern for the impoverished.
"The IMO objections are based on an attempt to retain private medicine", Robin Webster of Age Action Ireland told irishhealth.com. "We should be encouraging older people to anticipate and prepare for illnesses and to use their medical services".
He said that preventative care was the key. "Many older people, no matter what their income, are worried about money. They don't eat well enough and they don't always heat their houses properly".
The issue of inequity - very rich people over 70 receiving medical cards while needy younger people do not - is a separate issue, John Houston, the director of the National Council on Ageing and Older People said.
"The majority of older people have very limited incomes. Our research shows that many older people are living on pensions and obviously they have a greater need for health services than younger people", he said.
See our special feature on the controversy at:http://www.irishhealth.com/index.html?level=4&id=1457
|Anonymous Posted: 04/07/2001 09:33|
|Wealthy people will not use the Medical Card - They would be too proud - so I don't think the IMO have anything to worry about.|
|Anonymous Posted: 04/07/2001 23:31|
|Why haven't we heard the concern about other needy groups from the medical practitioners until now? It doesn't ring true. To-day's elderly endured all the belt-tightening hardships in the past and helped to pay for the University courses of the same doctors while they couldn't afford likewise for their own children.|
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