Primary medical certs to be fast-tracked to tackle backlog

The certs allow for tax concessions on adapted vehicles for drivers and passengers with a disability
Primary medical certs to be fast-tracked to tackle backlog

Amanda Reeves and her daughter Alyssa, 4, who received their Primary Medical Certificate last November. Picture: Moya Nolan

The Government has promised that it is urgently fast-tracking applications for primary medical certificates (PMCs) which allow for tax-relief on adapted vehicles.

The process was suspended after a Supreme Court decision last summer and only resumed in January.

Minister of State for Disability, Anne Rabbitte has welcomed the resumption of the assessment process for Primary Medical Certificates and said she is working with the HSE and Department officials to ensure outstanding applications are processed as a matter of urgency.

The certs allow for tax concessions on adapted vehicles for drivers and passengers with a disability.

Minister Rabbitte said she knows how important that is - especially for those living in rural areas.

"It was a worry that it actually wouldn't recommence because people in rural areas would depend on this level of support," said Ms Rabbitte.

"We don't have access to public transport in all rural areas and in some cases public transport isn't sufficient for people either because we are dealing with very frail, quite old or people with mobility issues.

"The primary medical cert is a lifeline for families in keeping them connected."

Ms Rabbitte said there had been a substantial backlog since last June but in the last number of weeks 410 assessments were completed.

She said in the coming weeks people can expect to have engagements with their local community health team to say what progress is being made and who will be called for face-to-face assessment.

Richard Ryder, Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland, has also welcomed the commitment to dealing with the backlog.

He said they were shocked with the scheme was suspended last year.

However, he is also hoping a review of the scheme will make it more accessible in future.

"At the time when it was implemented it was fit-for-purpose but now over the years the times have changed, the people have changed and it looks like there will be some changes coming down the tracks.

"We will wait and see what happens there but we will be there for people and we will be shouting loudly for changes for the scheme."

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