There’s nothing unusual or noble in wanting people to be treated fairly – it’s a basic sign of human decency.
It is wrong to punish or penalise people for something they have not done or are not guilty of.
Now this tale of woe is a fairly minor one – and nowhere near comparable to actual real miscarriages of justice like the Birmingham 6 or Hillsborough disaster. But as it affects me personally it irks me in a more frustrating manner.
As people of a nervous disposition may be aware I am currently gearing up to get my provisional driver’s license. I passed my theory test with flying colours (after doing about 476767 repetitions of the online practice test)
Afterwards I went on the web to see how I can acquire s provisional license for myself. I picked up the form and saw that as well as completing this form (in black ballpoint pen – other colours will render the application null and void) an eye test is required to indicate that your eyesight is of an adequate standard to control a moving vehicle. So far, so good.
Then there is a list of illnesses, and if you suffer from any of these, then you are obliged to pass a medical examination. Type 1 diabetes is one of the diseases requiring a doctor’s note. I have been diabetic since shortly after my fourth birthday. A rough estimate would suggest that I have had approximately 50000 injections thus far in my life.
So I went to the doctor for said medical yesterday evening, and I passed it. For the privilege of getting another eye test, a urine test, and a blood pressure exam, I was charged 70euros.
I asked as I was leaving, whether the receptionist knew if I could get this reimbursed – she said she didn’t know. I rang my health insurance who told me that this type of test is not covered by my insurance. I rang the License centre who told me that they couldn’t help.
Effectively this means that if you are perfectly healthy but suffering from a chronic illness then it is 70euro more expensive to get a driver’s license.
Now I understand the need for additional checks being carried out on people with certain illnesses to ensure we are fit for purpose to drive.
But to penalise us financially for being ill strikes me as rotten and unfair.
Clearly this is not a huge issue or more people than I would be complaining. But I am not happy about it.
Not one bit. I could pay for two concert tickets with that money you know.
I am going to see Christy Moore in Vicar Street tonight- I will try to slip him a note to ask him to write a folksy protest song for bolshy diabetics.