Covid vaccine ‘may lead to disabled driver scheme delay’

Up to 2,400 people who are entitled to access to the disabled driver scheme, which was suspended last June, may have to wait a further six months for approval as HSE doctors are diverted to the Covid-19 vaccination programme, says Denis Naughten TD.

“Rather than applications being processed for the last number of weeks, as previously outlined by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, we have to wait for a new commencement date of January 1st because the Government did not take on board a proposal that I put to Dáil Éireann last week,” said Denis Naughten.

“But while the HSE can legally start to process applications for primary medical certs from January 1st on the same basis as last year, I am very concerned that waiting lists will actually increase because the doctors involved in this scheme will also be involved with vaccinating for Covid-19. As a result, the waiting list could actually increase by 150 people every month.

“It could very well be the middle of the year, if not later, before this backlog is cleared and as a result, 2,400 people who should have disabled drivers’ financial supports will not. This is just not good enough”.

Deputy Naughten has now asked colleagues in Seanad Éireann to press the Finance Minister on this important issue as the Finance Bill makes its way through the Upper House.