Written answers

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Department of Health

Primary Medical Certificates

Photo of Chris AndrewsChris Andrews (Dublin Bay South, Sinn Fein)
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149. To ask the Minister for Health when applications for primary medical certificates will recommence; the reason they ceased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [60709/21]

Photo of Anne RabbitteAnne Rabbitte (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
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The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Schemeis underpinned by statute and comes under the remit of the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners. The extent of the involvement of Health Service Executive (HSE) personnel in the Scheme relates to making a professional clinical determination as to whether an individual applicant meets the specified criteria for a Primary Medical Certificate, which is a requirement for the Scheme.

Following a Supreme Court decision of June 2020, the assessment process for Primary Medical Certificates was suspended at the request of the Minister for Finance. On the enactment of the Finance Act 2020 which provided for the medical criteria in primary legislation, the Minister for Health instructed the HSE that assessments could recommence from 1 January, 2021.

The ability to hold assessments for the Scheme has been impacted by, among other things, the public health restrictions in place and the role of the HSE Community Medical Doctors in the roll-out of the COVID vaccination programme.

If an applicant's case very clearly meets the strict criteria that govern the granting of the certificate, the Community Medical Doctors may be in a position to grant it, with supporting documentation from a Consultant. However the majority of applications are not clear cut and would need an in-person examination to make an adjudication.

Good progress on the assessment process has been made. The HSE has recently confirmed that a total of 1,078 assessments were undertaken in Quarter 3, 2021, which compares with a combined total of 1,272 assessments undertaken in Quarters 1 and 2, 2021.


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