Thursday, 21 October 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Primary Medical Certificates
I accept the impact it has on people's lives and I hope the appeals will be dealt with more urgently than they have been. As I said, some 1,270 assessments were undertaken up to the end of June this year. I assure the House that if an applicant's case clearly meets the strict criteria that govern the primary medical certificate, a community medical doctor may be in a position to grant it, on the basis of supporting documentation from a consultant and without an in-patient assessment. This may go some way in providing clarity and help. However, the majority of applications are not clear cut and need an in-person medical assessment to make an adjudication. In the context of providing health services within a Covid environment, and the related public health restrictions, the HSE is continuing to make progress with the assessment process for primary medical certificates. As the Deputy said, perhaps it is not going at full steam. Now that many people have been taken off Covid duty, perhaps we will be in a better position to get the process up to full steam.