Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Removal of Gluten-Free food from medical card list is regressive step - Sinn Féin

A change to the medical prescription list which removes gluten-free products from it will cost many sick Wexford people up to an extra €80 a month.  According to Fionntán O’ Súilleabháin the changes will impact on hundreds of people across County Wexford who suffer from coeliac disease; a condition which prevents them from eating any food products which contain gluten.  The Sinn Féin rep said the government's decision to axe gluten-free products from the medical card prescription list was a regressive step which left those suffering from this affliction 'stranded and abandoned.'

Mr O’ Súilleabháin said;

"At least one in every hundred people suffer from coeliac disease; a condition which prevents sufferers from eating any food product which contains gluten.  Unfortunately for them, gluten is a common protein found in wheat, barley and rye.  This makes gluten-free products luxury items which cost five times the amount ordinary products costs."

"Recently the HSE removed gluten-free products from the medical card prescription list.  The move was abrupt and caught coeliacs by surprise.  Now they face paying up to an extra €80 a month, an extra expense many cannot afford.  These sick people have been stranded and abandoned by a government that is more willing to ransack our health service than look at common sense revenue raising measures like the instigation of a wealth tax."

"In addition to the removal of gluten-free products from the medical prescription list, three drugs have also been taken off. These are Glucosamine, Omega 3 triglycerides and Orlistat.  Glucosamine, used to treat wear and tear of the joints in osteoarthritis patients, and Omega 3 triglycerides, used in conjunction with cholesterol-lowering drugs to treat cardiac patients, are particularly important to older people."

"Minister James Reilly is trying to give the impression that it is the HSE who are orchestrating these cuts but it is the Minister himself who is conducting them by axing funding for our health service.  Its time Fine Gael and Labour stopped punishing the most vulnerable citizens and began to look at making those who can afford to pay more do so.  It makes more sense to ask the wealthy to contribute a little bit more than to cut the most necessary health benefits to sick people."

1 comment:

  1. Initially, following a gluten-free diet may be frustrating. But with time, patience and creativity, you'll find there are many foods that you already eat that are gluten-free and you will find substitutes for gluten-containing foods that you can enjoy.
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