Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (659)

Michael Lowry

Question:

659. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Health the position of a primary medical certificate application for a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; when an assessment on this application will take place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2878/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme 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 medical criteria for a Primary Medical Certificate, which is a requirement for the Scheme. This determination is undertaken by Senior Medical Officers for the relevant HSE Community Health Organisation on behalf of the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners.

The Deputy will be aware that 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. In order to allow for the Primary Medical Certificate assessments to recommence, the Minister for Finance brought forward amendments to the Finance Bill to provide for the existing medical criteria in primary legislation.

Following a request from Minister Donohoe, my colleague the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly T.D. issued an instruction to the Chief Executive Officer of the Health Service Executive (HSE) on 22nd December, 2020, to the effect that Primary Medical Certificate assessments can recommence with effect from 1st January, 2021.

As the question raised by the Deputy relates to a service matter, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the HSE for investigation and direct reply to the Deputy.