§ Lady Hermon
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what legislation or regulations prevent diabetes sufferers from serving as ambulance drivers in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Angela Smith
The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 (as amended) prescribes insulin-dependent diabetes as a relevant disability in respect of the issue of Group 2 licences (i.e. those that authorise the driving of passenger carrying vehicles and large goods vehicles).
In light of this, and in accordance with Article 9(3) of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (as amended) the Department of the Environment must not grant such a licence to a person who suffers from such a disability.
In addition, it is the opinion of The Secretary of State for Transport's Medical Advisory Panel on Driving and Diabetes that drivers with insulin-treated diabetes should not drive emergency vehicles
A person whose diabetes is treated by diet alone or by diet and tablets are allowed to hold such a licence provided they are otherwise in good health.
In order to be employed as an Ambulance person within Northern Ireland Ambulance Service there is an essential requirement to hold a full and clean driving licence, which includes Categories CI (to drive minibuses) and Dl (to drive vehicles over 3½ tonnes).
In the past where it has come to the attention of the NI Ambulance Service that an employee has developed diabetes, it has redeployed the employee from driving duties.