Latest statement from Jonathan Irwin CEO and Founder of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation re medical card crisis

OUR FIGHT FOR MEDICAL CARDS CONTINUES!

“On behalf of the 300 precious children with life limiting or life threatening conditions under our wing, we pledge to continue the fight for automatic medical cards ALL THE WAY. We won’t get sidetracked by the €2.7 million we must raise every year to keep our service going. This fight for medical cards is just as important as the fundraising for Jack & Jill home nursing care support and we can do both with the support of the public.

“As a nation we must move beyond means testing when talking about medical cards for children with severe disabilities who should get these cards which are the gateway to the care they need automatically, in their own right, as Irish citizens. Our children deserve better. We welcome and salute the launch of the www.ourchildrenshealth.ie campaign and encourage our families and supporters nationwide to sign the online petition.

“On behalf of the children under our care, past and present, we have followed up our nurses’ letter to the Minister for Health on 9th May with a request for an urgent meeting with him where we can highlight those ‘hard cases’ the Minister has sought. We have the list. A list that is still expanding. A shocking list. A list that must provoke action from our political masters and our policy makers when they acknowledge the real families behind these shameful statistics on medical cards. When it comes to medical cards we need a system with integrity, a system that is needs based rather than just financial based. A system that respects the rights of the citizen, young and old and in between, to the best medical support available.

“We note the statements overnight from Ministers Michael Noonan and Eamon Gilmore committing this government to a review of medical cards post the local and European elections. Our team of specialist children’s nurses in Jack & Jill are ready for that review and we would ask more families with children over the age of 4 who were supported by Jack & Jill in the past to get in touch with their status on medical cards. Please post your information direct to me at jonathan@jackandjill.ie

“That list of hard cases will also be shared with the Children’s Rights Alliance, the Ombudsman Peter Tyndall and the Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan and we will trigger complaints legally both locally and beyond until we get a result.”

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