The HSE has committed to clearing the backlog of medical card appeals within a six-week period.
Following ongoing criticism of medical card delays, the HSE has put additional staff in place to process appeals, which will clear the backlog by the middle of next month.
Work on clearing the backlog commenced on February 6, Ms Anna-Marie Lanigan, Area Manager, Carlow/Kilkenny andSouth Tipperary, told members of the HSE South Regional Health Forum.
“Appeals for medical cards are currently processed through the National Appeals Office, Donegal, and the HSE acknowledges that there is currently a backlog of appeals to be processed,” Ms Lanigan advised.
“In order to assist in clearing this backlog each Regional Director of Operations has nominated suitably qualified staff to assist in processing appeals.
“Currently between 30 per cent and 35 per cent of all applications received by the central office are incomplete.
While the application process is undoubtedly complex, more self-assessment and longer eligibility periods will ease the burden on applicants.”
Ms Lanigan added that between July and December last year the central processing office in Dublin issued an average of 4,000 medical cards per day