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HSE gives little Aoife back her medical card

A TODDLER who is battling a brain tumour has had her cancelled medical card reinstated as the HSE apologised for what it called an administrative error.

Three-year-old Aoife Keogh, from Blessington, Co Wicklow was diagnosed with a brain tumour last May and was given a medical card for two years to cover treatments.

But in April, the card came up as invalid when her mother, Carly, attempted to use it in a pharmacy.

Ms Keogh wrote to the HSE two weeks ago but had heard nothing back, and yesterday her story appeared in

apology

By midday the HSE had rung the mother-of-three to personally apologise, and reinstated her with a working card.

“It’s just such pure relief - there’s no other way to describe it,” said Ms Keogh. “I never expected such a quick turnaround because I’d had such little dealings with the HSE.”

The Blessington woman said the confusion over the card was, “quite stressful on top of everything else that is going on”.

“Yesterday at around 12.30pm I got a call from a person over medical cards and he apologised for the hassle of everything and confirmed that the card would remain in place until June 2015 as previously agreed,” said Ms Keogh.

A spokeswoman from the HSE explained that Aoife’s card had come up for review 18 months early and then invalidated because of an admin fault.

“Due to an administrative error at the medical card processing centre the family was brought into an additional review in error,” she said.

The spokeswoman also stated that, “the HSE wishes to sincerely apologise to the Keogh family for the genuine errors involved in the processing of their case and the subsequent distress and upset caused to them”.

Aoife, who is the youngest of three children, suffers from a life-long condition and will have to live with brain tumours.

But it is hoped that her current bout of chemotherapy will be her last, said Ms Keogh.

The mum-of-three also said that she was not alone in her plight.

“There are so many other people who haven’t had their story in the media and their children need help,” she said.

Ms Keogh’s story came to light after she spoke to members of Our Children’s Health campaign.

The group is currently lobbying the Government to have a piece of legislation updated allowing terminally ill children and youngsters living with congenital conditions to have immediate access to medical cards.

confusion

After months of confusion surrounding Aoife’s card, which originally kicked off last December when her mum was asked to fill in review forms, it took just half a day to sort out.

Ms Keogh had written to the HSE saying she had a card until June 2015 and that filling in the review forms was quite time consuming.

The HSE replied to her in January saying there was no need to fill in the forms but in April she discovered her daughter’s card had “just stopped working”.

jfegan@herald.ie


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