first_imgELDERLY people across the county have been left ‘threatened’ by letters questioning their eligibility for medical cards, a TD claimed today.Pearse Doherty said he has received confirmation that 8,000 people aged over 70 have been sent letters warning them to return details of their financial position within two weeks or face losing their entitlement to a medical card.The Client Registration Unit, responsible for the administration of the Medical Card, has confirmed it has sent the letters. Donegal South West Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty says his office has been contacted by elderly people who felt worried and threatened by the letters, especially those whose cards are not due to renewed until 2015.“Elderly people in this County have contacted my office in serious distress over the letters they have received in relation to the medical card renewals,” said Deputy Doherty.“People in their 80s and 90s have contacted me in tears fearing they will lose their medical card.“The Medical cards in question are not due to expire until 2015 at the earliest, however the letters threaten to withdraw medical entitlements for those who do not return extensive financial information within a 2 week deadline. This is causing undue pressure and raises questions as to why this information is being sought in the run-up to another Austerity Budget.” The Donegal politician accused the Government of frightening pensioners.“I believe the Department has handled this with complete insensitivity – many of these elderly people have a real fear that they may lose their medical card entitlement, not because they do not satisfy the criteria laid down by the Department but because they fear they may not be able to return the form within the timeframe,” he said.“Particularly in the cold winter months coming up to Christmas and at a time when our elderly are struggling to cope with the savage cuts to their home help, many value the reassurance of the medical card to know they have access to free health services if necessary to maintain their health.“These are the people who courageously resisted the attempts of the Fianna Fáil Government to withdraw their access to the medical card and now they are faced with another Government who shows no sensitivity to their needs.”The Deputy concluded: “I would ask that the Government give a guarantee that no medical card will be withdrawn until a sufficient time has passed to allow people respond to the letter. “I would also ask that the Department show some consideration for the real fear of our elderly community on this issue and to come clean on why these letters have been issued.”ELDERLY DONEGAL PENSIONERS ‘THREATENED’ BY MEDICAL CARD LETTERS – TD was last modified: November 11th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegal pensionersELDERLY DONEGAL PENSIONERS ‘THREATENED’ BY MEDICAL CARD LETTERS – TDPearse Dohertylast_img read more