Lots of twists and turns on road to get­ting re­place­ment health card

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - OPINION -

SIR, Last June, I lost my cards in Lon­don. bank cards, travel pass and oth­ers were eas­ily re­placed. Not so the EU Health Card.

Be­cause I was ask­ing for a re­place­ment, I had to go in per­son to an HSE of­fice rather than ap­ply on­line. I sent an email ask­ing if there was an of­fice in Kil­lar­ney. No re­sponse. The web­site lists an ad­dress on Denny St, Tralee. I went and found noth­ing there ex­cept closed up build­ings.

A man clos­ing the bank gate at the end of the lane told me the of­fice might be across from the Do­mini­can Church. I went. This is the so­cial ser­vices of­fice. The re­cep­tion­ist there told me the HSE of­fice was near the coun­cil of­fices but she thought it was only open in the morn­ings. A friend later told me that the HSE is in the build­ing in front of the hos­pi­tal.

I made an­other trip to Tralee. The build­ing in front of the hos­pi­tal has no sig­nage so I in­quired at the hos­pi­tal re­cep­tion. Yes, the HSE is in the front build­ing so I back­tracked and went in.

I told a woman at re­cep­tion what I needed and was told that “it will de­pend on when your card ex­pires.”

She looked it up. “It ex­pires Novem­ber 2019 so I can­not give you a re­place­ment,” she told me.

“But it is lost.”

“I can give you a tem­po­rary card that is good for two months.”

“I need a re­place­ment. How do I get one?” “I can’t do that.”

Af­ter a few more back and forth ex­changes, she said: “You would need to send a let­ter...” and she handed me a piece of pa­per and dic­tated an ad­dress.

“But that’s this build­ing! I am sup­posed to go home, write a let­ter and send it here?”

“There is a ta­ble there. You could write your re­quest, sign and date it and give it to me.”

I wrote out, signed and dated my re­quest and handed it to her. I also com­plained about how long it had taken since my first email to the HSE.

“You should have come here first,” she said.

“The web­site gives a Denny St. ad­dress.” “We’ve been here 11 years,” she told me. “I am not from Tralee and there is ab­so­lutely no sig­nage with name or hours on this build­ing.”

My re­place­ment card is sup­posed to show up in 10 work­ing days. I sure hope so as I am not anx­ious to deal with the HSE again any­time soon.

Sin­cerely,

Clau­dia White, Manger­ton View,

Kil­lar­ney.

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