HAA Card Eligibility

Establishment of Eligibility

The guidelines for establishment of eligibility are set out below, however the final decision on whether an application satisfies the requirements of the legislation lies with the Chief Executive Officer of the HSE or a delegated HSE Official.

To establish eligibility the following must be provided with the application;

1. A copy of a positive test result for one of the following Hepatitis C diagnostic tests:

  • The ELISA test OR
  • The RIBA test OR
  • The PCR test
  • Or in the absence of any of the above tests, proof that the person displayed symptoms of acute infection with jaundice up to 16 weeks after administration of anti-D

2. Proof that the infection resulted from contaminated blood or blood products administered within the State:

  • Date(s) of Anti-D administration or in the case of transfusion-transmitted infection, copies of medical reports.
  • Any other medical information relevant to the application.
  • Name and address of general practitioner and hospital unit attended in respect of the applicant's Hepatitis C condition.
  • Because of the particular circumstances which apply to persons with haemophilia who received blood products prior to 1992 it is sufficient that the application be accompanied by a standard two-part letter which contains the following (i) confirmation from a haematologist that the applicant has a diagnosed bleeding disorder and stating the year when the applicant first received blood products in this country (or confirmation that the applicant received blood products in this country at any time prior to 1992) and (ii) confirmation from a hepatologist that the applicant has tested positive for either Hepatitis C antibodies or virus. No further documentary evidence is required in respect of this cohort.
  • In the case of blood transfusions where records do not exist to prove one way or another the source of infection, the expert opinion of medical consultants is usually sought. In such cases where a consultant is willing to state in writing that in his/her opinion on the balance of probabilities the infection was transmitted by blood or blood products administered in this country, it is open to the Chief Executive Officer (or delegate) of the HSE to decide that this is sufficient to establish eligibility for a Health (Amendment) Act Card. There is no requirement for the blood test results to be current. In this regard, it is relevant that the Health Amendment Act (1996) states that the services are to be provided to persons "who were infected with Hepatitis C ......" and does not stipulate that the infection must be ongoing. If an applicant has documentary evidence of eligible test results in the past then the applicant is entitled to the HAA Card, even if current tests are negative.

A small number of persons who have not been able to provide a positive test result for Hepatitis C but have obtained an award from the Hepatitis C and HIV Compensation Tribunal or the High Court on appeal, on the basis that their symptoms were consistent with resolved Hepatitis C infection due to infection with contaminated blood products may also be eligible to apply for a Health Amendment Act Card.

The Minister for Health and Children in 2006 agreed that any persons who had received an award from the Hepatitis C and HIV Compensation Tribunal or the Courts prior to 20 June 2006, would be entitled access to health services under the Health Amendment Act. For persons who have applied to the Compensation Tribunal before 20th June 2006 and if there is a positive outcome, they are also eligible to access services under the Health Amendment Act. Therefore, you need proof of an award for current or resolved Hepatitis C infection from contaminated blood or blood products administered within the State through the Tribunal or the Courts in order to provide you with a Health Amendment Act Card. This proof can be in the form of a letter from the Compensation Tribunal or from your Solicitor stating that you have received an award from the Tribunal or the High Court relating to your Hepatitis C or HIV infection. For further details on eligibility criteria, please contact the Liaison Officer in your area.

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