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IHF Statement (8 August 2019): Emergency Medical Cards

Statement August 8 2019

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has today warmly welcomed the addition of information to the HSE website about emergency medical cards for people with a terminal illness.

The IHF has been campaigning since 2014 for the HSE to give prominence to and make accessible on its website and in other appropriate publications, the special application process for medical cards without means test to people who have a limited prognosis.

The new information on the website makes it clear that only healthcare professionals can make an application for an emergency medical card.  People who have a life-limiting illness and a limited prognosis will now be able to discuss their medical card needs with their healthcare team and be assured that they will be best placed to make the appropriate application.   See more here.

Emergency medical cards for people with terminal illness are a positive and appropriate provision by the State to support people within their last months of life.  The fact that there is now public confirmation that medical cards given on this ground will not be reviewed will bring relief to many people who were anxious about facing a means test at this most challenging time.

This new consistency and clarity in messaging is very welcome and will, we hope, help to ease the one of the many burdens faced by patients, families and carers.