Finance | Update on the issue of primary medical certificates
To ask the Minister for Finance if he will provide an update in respect of when the issue regarding primary medical certificates will be resolved in order to facilitate those whose cases are in abeyance for some time in the first instance, and to meet the requirements of persons with disabilities who have mobility problems; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Bernard J. Durkan T.D.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 7 March, 2023.
As the Deputy is aware the previous members of the DDMBA resigned effective from 30th November 2021. Since then two Expression of Interest campaigns have been held, seeking suitable candidates for the Board. The Department of Health has led on all actions and tasks with respect to the Expression of Interest Campaigns. Department of Finance officials have provided support to the Department of Health in this matter.
The first campaign closed on 29th April. As there were insufficient suitable candidates arising from the first campaign, a second round was issued with a closing date of 5th July 2022. Five members are legislatively required for a functional Board with a quorum of three needed for any appeal hearing. Two other candidates were recently nominated by the Minister for Health. All five candidates have now successfully completed Garda Vetting.
I had hoped that I could finalise these appointments and recommence the work of DDMBA in the next few weeks. However, the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) has recently indicated that it wishes to cease its involvement with the scheme, and as its facilities and secretarial service, which are funded by my Department, are integral to the operation of the DDMBA, it may take time to put in place feasible and appropriate alternative arrangements to enable the appeals process to re-commence.
However, you should be aware that assessments for the primary medical certificate, by the HSE, are continuing to take place. In this regard, an important point to make is that even though there has been no appeal mechanism since the previous Board resigned, applicants who have been deemed not to have met one of the six eligibility criteria required for a PMC are entitled to request another PMC assessment six months after an unsuccessful PMC assessment.
Finally, as of 31st December 2022, there are currently 759 people awaiting an appeal hearing with 382 of those dating back to 2021 and the remaining 377 people applying for an appeal in 2022.
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