Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Questions (848)

Verona Murphy

Question:

848. Deputy Verona Murphy asked the Minister for Health when community medical doctors will be in a position to recommence regular primary medical certificate assessments following legal clarification in relation to the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21158/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme is underpinned by statute and comes within the remit of the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners.  A requirement of the scheme involves Health Service Executive (HSE) Community Medical Doctors making a clinical determination as to whether an individual applicant meets the specified medical criteria for a Primary Medical Certificate.

Following a Supreme Court decision in June 2020, the assessment process for Primary Medical Certificates had to be suspended.  While the approval of the Finance Act 2020 paved the way for assessments to recommence this year, the Community Medical Doctors have also played a key role in the National COVID-19 response, including the roll out of the vaccination programme.

I have been working with the HSE to ensure that the outstanding applications for Primary Medical Certificates are processed as a matter of urgency.  HSE data indicates that 401 assessments were carried out between January and March 2021. 

The HSE is continuing to monitor progress on these assessments in the context of the HSE Service Recovery and Restoration Plan.  I intend to keep the matter under review, to ensure that we continue to work our way through outstanding applications.

As the issue raised by the Deputy is a service matter, I have referred the question to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.