Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Department of Health
Long-Term Illness Scheme Eligibility
373. To ask the Minister for Health his plans to include auto-immune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis as symptoms which qualify for acceptance under the long-term illness book scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41301/15]
379. To ask the Minister for Health the reason rheumatoid arthritis is not considered a long-term illness; if there are plans to include it in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41343/15]
429. To ask the Minister for Health when asthma will be included in the long-term illness scheme given the number of persons suffering with asthma; the costs incurred for treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41761/15]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 373, 379 and 429 together.
The Long Term Illness (LTI) Scheme was established under Section 59(3) of the Health Act, 1970 (as amended). Regulations were made in 1971, 1973 and 1975 specifying the conditions covered by the LTI Scheme. The conditions covered by the LTI Scheme are as follows: Acute Leukaemia; Mental handicap; Cerebral Palsy; Mental Illness (in a person under 16); Cystic Fibrosis; Multiple Sclerosis; Diabetes Insipidus; Muscular Dystrophies; Diabetes Mellitus; Parkinsonism; Epilepsy; Phenylketonuria; Haemophilia; Spina Bifida; Hydrocephalus; and conditions arising from the use of Thalidomide. There are no plans to extend the list of conditions covered by the LTI Scheme.
Under the Drug Payment Scheme, no individual or family pays more than €144 per calendar month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines. The scheme significantly reduces the cost burden for families and individuals incurring ongoing expenditure on medicines.
Under the provisions of the Health Acts, medical cards are provided to persons who are, in the opinion of the Health Service Executive (HSE), unable without undue hardship to arrange GP services for themselves and their dependants. In the assessment process, the HSE can take into account medical costs incurred by an individual or a family.