Minister of State Frank Feighan is welcoming the decision of the government to expand access to medical cards for people who are terminally ill.
The scheme was approved by cabinet this week and will be in place for an interim period of 12 months before legislation is introduced to make it permanent.
Medical cards are usually means tested but this does not apply to people who are terminally ill and who have a prognosis of less than 12 months.
It's estimated that almost 2,000 such medical cards are presently granted to people around the country.
Minister Feighan says the change to extend the time for the cards from 12 months to 24 will greatly help people who find themselves in devastating circumstance: