Friday 16 April 2021
Anne Rabbitte TD, Minister of State for Disability, has welcomed the resumption of the assessment process for Primary Medical Certificates under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme.
A requirement of the scheme, which is underpinned by statute and comes under the remit of the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners, 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. Data received by Minister Rabbitte shows that 401 assessments were carried out between January and March 2021.
Minister Rabbitte said:
It was extremely regrettable that following a Supreme Court decision in June 2020, the assessment process for Primary Medical Certificates had to be suspended. However, since the approval of the Finance Act 2020 paved the way for assessments to recommence this year, I have been working with the HSE and Department officials to ensure that outstanding applications are processed as a matter of urgency. I know how important these Certificates can be in allowing people to make adaptations to their cars for drivers and passengers with disabilities so it was imperative for me to see progress on the matter.
People with disabilities may not have full access to public transport, especially in rural areas. Having an accessible vehicle can make a real difference in terms of getting to the shops, going to work, or accessing education. Given its importance to people with disabilities and their families, I intend to keep the matter under review to ensure we continue to work our way through outstanding applications.
Minister Rabbitte concluded,
These are very challenging times for delivering services to those that need them, and I want to thank the HSE Community Healthcare Organisations and by extension their Community Medical Officers for prioritising the assessment of applications for Certificates in the face of so many other pressures. They have played a key role in the national COVID response, including the rollout of the vaccination programme, and this too needs to be acknowledged.