Tuesday, 4 September 2012

HSE Restrictions For Coeliacs IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Okay, with yesterday's reveal that people suffering from coeliac disease will no longer be able get gluten-free products free of charge under State schemes as a result of an unannounced HSE cutback (http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=21012). I have gone on a major hunt for information to see exactly what this will mean. 

TheJournal.ie were very quick on the uptake with an article published yesterday evening (http://www.thejournal.ie/gluten-free-products-cut-coeliacs-583367-Sep2012), which shed a little more light on the subject. 

So here's what I gathered in my quest for more information. 

Firstly, I got my hands on the official letter from the HSE outlining the cuts and what this will mean for many. You can click on this link here: 


...and that should lead you to scanned copy of the letter. If you cannot see the link, or have any trouble opening it, let me know. I will be happy to email you the version directly if you need it. 

Following on, here is another link to the list of gluten free food that will no longer be available for coeliacs, as outlined by the HSE, at this link here: 


Again, if you have any problems opening this link, please feel free to contact me directly and I will be happy to send you the list. 

UPDATE - Here is a full list of all the food/medical cuts made by the HSE, found at this link here:

http://www.sspcrs.ie/libr/html/monthlyproductupdate.pdf

For the dietary supplement allowance, follow this link here http://www.welfare.ie/EN/Schemes/SupplementaryWelfareAllowance/Pages/DietarySupplement.aspx to see if you can avail of this benefit.

I had a very informative conversation with an extremely kind pharmacist who was happy to answer my questions that people have asked me. 

The first question was, 'Will this affect medical card holders and those on the drug payment scheme?' Answer: Yes. You will no longer have access to any GF foods.

Next question, 'Are they removing gluten free products from prescription altogether?' Answer: Yes, there will now no longer be a prescription service for coeliacs who aquire any of the GF foods.

Next question, 'Can you still claim tax back on the med1?' Answer: Yes you can. As far as the pharmacist was aware, that would not be a problem. 
 
Next question, 'When do these cuts kick in?' Answer: As of last Friday, 31st August. It has already been implemented. 

So there you have it. If anyone wants to ask me anything further, or if there is confusion, please just comment below/email/tweet/facebook me and I will be happy to do my best to help clarify and find out what you need to know.

I'm trying to keep this post clear of how I feel about the whole thing, as it would just end up being a frustrated rant at the HSE and my emotions would get the better of me. My overall feeling on this issue is one of frustration, disappointment and sadness. 


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