Medical Card choice of existing GP

desperatedan

Frequent Poster
Messages
111
Hello all

Some background first. Sorry for the length of this.

My friend has had a very bad run of medical luck recently, he has just had a major cancer op, which will mean he is out of work for the next 6 months during chemo, etc.

Happily, the prognosis looks pretty OK, but his wife has had to leave her employment due to the stress of caring for him and her own medical problems, which are long-term, including type 1 diabetes with complications such as osteoporosis, eye problems, etc. She is now on Disability Benefit.

So, from being the typical 2 earner middle-class family, kids flown the nest, they are in a situation where the main earner is on extended sick leave, looking at early retirement due to illness, having done 39 years, now 57 years old.

His wife has given up her job, due to the above, and will not be returning.

They have been advised to apply for a Medical Card, due to the serious nature of the illnesses they both have. The wife currently has the LTI card for her diabetes, but the family medical bills always exceed the €100 per month, so they pay this every month, even before the husbands current illness, as he had other long-term medical problems.

They also have on-going Mortgage monthly commitment of €800 for the next 4 years.

My friends income probably will exceed the income guidelines for normal Medical Card issue based on income, but, as there are the ongoing medical issues with both him and his wife, they have been informed they may qualify based on medical grounds.

Now to the GP question. They have had the same GP for the past 25 years, who has his practice in a town 13 miles from where they now live.

They have moved about 5 years ago, but as they both work, or worked, in the town, they did not change GP, and are very happy with him.

Apparently, there is a rule about choice of GP within the Medical Card scheme, which specifies a 7 miles catchment area.

There would be a couple of GP's within the 7 mile limit, but my friends would like to retain their existing GP, who is willing to admit them to his list.

How strict is the 7 mile limit?

If the current GP is willing to take them on, would this have any bearing on a decision by the HSE?
 

desperatedan

Frequent Poster
Messages
111
I know this is unorthodox, but as there have been no replies, can I just send a shorter question, cutting out the history bit?

Hopefully someone out there will have an answer to the core question.

Now to the GP question. My friends have had the same GP for the past 25 years, who has his practice in a town 13 miles from where they now live.

They have moved about 5 years ago, but as they both work, or worked, in the town, they did not change GP, and are very happy with him.

Apparently, there is a rule about choice of GP within the Medical Card scheme, which specifies a 7 miles catchment area.

There would be a couple of GP's within the 7 mile limit, but my friends would like to retain their existing GP, who is willing to admit them to his list.

How strict is the 7 mile limit?

If the current GP is willing to take them on, would this have any bearing on a decision by the HSE?
 

dubinamerica

Frequent Poster
Messages
477
We're planning to apply also for the medical card but our GP would definitely be more than 7 miles away. Have been to lots of doctors in our local town and was not happy with any of them and have finally found one that we are happy with. I haven't brought the form in yet, but was just planning on having the doctor fill it in and then bring it along to the clinic in our local town where the person processes the medical card applications. I'm hoping that it shouldn't be an issue. I wonder if it would be worthwhile for your friends to just submit the application and see what happens? If someone rings up I (being paranoid) would not leave their name and details in case it gets flagged in any way, but rather have someone ring up with a general query regarding the rule. I know my inlaws have the medical card and have moved a very large distance from their current GP but I don't know if they have gone through the renewal process since the move. They would have had similar long term health issues. Best of luck for your friends as it's stressful enough on them dealing with all the health issue and hopefully the process of obtaining the card will be straightforward.
 
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