I propose to take Questions Nos. 138 to 141, inclusive, together.
A civil servant is referred to the Office of the Chief Medical Officer if they wish to apply for ill-health retirement. All applications are assessed by an Occupational Health Physician who is on the Medical Council’s Specialist Register in Occupational Medicine. The medical opinion on permanent medical disability lies with the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and not with the civil servant's GP/ hospital doctor.
The person referred to by the Deputy applied for ill-health retirement and in line with procedures was referred to the CMO’s Office. The report from the CMO was that it was not the opinion of the Ill Health Retirement Forum, who assess applications, that this applicant was likely to be permanently medically incapable of regular and effective service in her current occupation.
The applicant appealed this decision and the case was referred to an independent Occupational Physician. The independent Occupational Physician upheld the decision of the CMO and advised that the person was fit to continue working part-time and that Ill Health Retirement was not appropriate.
This remains the position.
In relation to the Spouses' and Children’s Superannuation Scheme, this is a contributory scheme for civil servants which provides pensions for qualifying spouses and/or dependent children of a member who dies in service, or who dies after qualifying for a pension or preserved pension. Special rules apply to the payment of contributions in cases where ill-health retirement applications are approved. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and PeoplePoint are responsible for the management of the Scheme.