News & Media

Medical Assistance Scheme for Defence Force must be extended

2 June 2021

Statement by Senator Mark Wall
Spokesperson on Defence, Tourism and Sport

Labour defence spokesperson Senator Mark Wall has said the cross-border healthcare system for Defence Force personnel must not be a casualty of Brexit. Currently due to expire on December 31, the scheme provides essential access to healthcare for our Defence Force, and is vitally important for workers on low income.

Senator Wall said:

“The Government needs to take a common sense approach here and legislate for the continuation of the medical assistance scheme. For the fee of just €1 per week, PDFORA members protect themselves with a healthcare option should injury or illness occur. This eliminates the need of members to borrow money from families, credit unions or any other outlet.

“PDFORA representatives gave testimonies at the Committee last March highlighting the value of the scheme, and the role that having comprehensive healthcare options in place has in retaining members of the Force. Over 250 members of the Defence Forces have availed of this scheme, allowing them to return to work after injury. Where once members may have retired due to injury, the PDFORA healthcare scheme not only gets these members back on their feet, but also promotes the continuation of their natural military career, with many examples of where those who have availed of the scheme go on to promotion through the ranks.

“We need to protect this scheme through legislating for its continuation. I will continue to raise this matter at Committee and with the Department.”