A MAN who was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer two years ago has had his medical card revoked by the HSE—for the second time.
Clare man John Wall, 48, strives to raise awareness for prostate and cervical cancer, following in the footsteps of HPV Vaccine campaigner and friend Laura Brennan, who passed away in March of this year.
Mr Wall, who describes himself on his twitter profile as a “Husband, father, air traffic controller and someone who loves life”, received his terminal diagnosis two years ago and now raises awareness and supports those struggling with a similar diagnosis.
On Saturday 20 July, he announced via Twitter that his emergency medical card, which is provided without means-testing for patients with a terminal diagnosis, had been cancelled by the Health Service Executive (HSE).
This is not the first time it has happened.
After terminal diagnosis I received an emergency medical card valid for 18 mths. @HSELive cancelled it after 6. Keep asking me to confirm terminal?
Asking a dying man to confirm he's dying!
UNACCEPTABLE 😥#DYK the #HSE also recently altered card validity times?@SimonHarrisTD pic.twitter.com/SxEkt8R7FG
— 𝙅𝙤𝙝𝙣 𝙒𝙖𝙡𝙡 #𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙮𝙃𝙤𝙢𝙚 (@walls2) July 20, 2019
Originally the medical card was provided to terminal patients on the basis that it would be means-tested every six months. The review was then extended to 18 months after campaigning by patient advocate groups, citing the distress a terminal patient would suffer in order to prove that they were dying.
In 2014, when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was the Minister for Health, the means-testing reviews were scrapped altogether. This should mean that, once diagnosed with a terminal illness, the patient can receive treatment until the end of their life without ever having to worry about medical bills or having to prove their terminal status.
It was not like this for Mr Wall. Six months after receiving his medical card, it was cancelled. After successfully appealing the cancellation it was again revoked two months later.
Tagging the HSE in his tweet, Mr Wall righteously said that it was “unacceptable” to continuously ask “a dying man to confirm he’s dying”.
The official HSE twitter account contacted him to say somebody would be in touch today, Monday 22 July.
The last few days have been eye opening. My story has started a discussion that's so badly needed. I will continue to advocate on this issue & more on behalf of all those that are struggling to be heard. I will discuss this with @HSELive tomorrow.#PatientCare #PatientExperience https://t.co/BC0toL6mwd
— 𝙅𝙤𝙝𝙣 𝙒𝙖𝙡𝙡 #𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙮𝙃𝙤𝙢𝙚 (@walls2) July 21, 2019
Mr. Wall is staying positive and is using his platform to educate and support those affected by cancer, writing on his Twitter page that “This issue is now much more than just about me. I will use this opportunity to advocate on behalf of all #cancer patients in similar circumstances.
We did not ask for this, all we ask for is #Respect”.