A CORK TD has called on the health minister to urgently address lengthy delays in processing primary medical certificate (PMC) applications in Cork.
A PMC is a declaration to say that the holder is a severely disabled and/or permanently disabled person.
Cork South-Central Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said the certificate was “a crucial way of ensuring independence and dignity” for people with disabilities.
“Securing this certificate has a major impact on their ability to socialise, to live their lives, to access education and work.
"The process by which these certificates are granted, however, is not treated with the urgency it deserves. The waiting times for appeals are simply far too long.
“In Cork, the waiting time for applications, even within the strict criteria that exist, is several months and it is between seven and eight months’ wait for the processing of appeals. These lengthy waiting times are holding people back from being able to live their lives,” he said, adding that the approach to PMCs was “all wrong”.
“It is seen almost as a luxury, rather than the necessity that it definitely is. That must change.”
A PMC is required to apply for the disabled drivers and disabled passengers scheme, which provides tax reliefs linked to the purchase and use of specially constructed or adapted vehicles by drivers and passengers with a disability.
Under the scheme, PMC holders can claim remission or repayment of vehicle registration tax, repayment of Vat on the purchase or cost of adapting a vehicle.