Thursday, 21 October 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Primary Medical Certificates
I suppose there is good in that response, but it does not deal with all the issues. This process does not seem to be running at full steam. While there has been some progress made in the backlog, the community medical doctors are also doing many other jobs which puts demands on the resources. The other issue which has not been addressed is the delay in the appeals, which is a key part of the process. People are waiting lengthy periods of time for their appeals to be heard, which is also holding them back, and many of these appeals can be successful.
We have come across cases in my constituency office where the criteria might be too severe. I have come across cases involving people with fibromyalgia, and as a result have mobility difficulties, but who do not currently qualify. There are parents of children with profound learning difficulties and related conditions, who do not qualify even though the children, in some instances, are at risk of rapid movements or require a large amount of space to get out of a car. I wish to flag that they do not always qualify either.
I ask that the Minister of State to take my primary concern back to his Department. While I understand there are significant delays with the initial applications, there is also an issue in regard to the appeals, which needs to be addressed. I ask that the Minister of State take that point back to his Department so we can get this issue addressed. I acknowledge the objectives are not wrong. However, the issue is about the urgency at which it is being addressed. It does not involve the most enormous category of people, but the impact it has on their lives is enormous and it holds them back.