Thursday, 8 November 2012

Questions (70)

Gerry Adams

Question:

70. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to new procedures for issuing Form E112, hospital treatment in another EU/EEA country, which involve now having an appointment with an Irish based consultant in advance of every foreign; that this requirement has caused some patients to miss and cancel appointments and caused unnecessary delays in patients accessing treatment; if he will investigate this situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48978/12]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE operates a treatment abroad scheme, TAS, for persons entitled to treatment in another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland under EU Regulation 1408/71, as per the procedures set out in EU Regulation 574/72, and in accordance with Department of Health Guidelines. Within these governing EU Regulations and the Department of Health and Children's Guidelines, the TAS provides for the cost of approved treatments in another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland through the issue of form E112 (IE).

The TAS allows for an Irish based consultant to refer a patient that is normally resident in Ireland for treatment in another EU member state or Switzerland, where the treatment in question meets the following criteria:

(a) The application to refer a patient abroad has been assessed and a determination given before that patient goes abroad.

(b) Following clinical assessment, the referring consultant certifies the following:

- They recommend the patient be treated in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland;

- The treatment is medically necessary and will meet the patient's needs;

- The treatment is a proven form of medical treatment and is not experimental or test treatment;

- The treatment is in a recognised hospital or other institution and is under the control of a registered medical practitioner;

- The hospital outside the state will accept EU/EEA form E112 (IE).

The procedures for applying for treatment under the TAS scheme have not altered. Under the TAS regulations, each appointment abroad is considered as an episode of care and the issuing of an E112 is specific to the application which has been approved. When an episode of care is complete, the patient immediately returns to the care of the Irish based referring consultant. Should the Irish based referring consultant deem that further episodes of care are necessary, he/she will advise the patient and the patient will complete a further E112 in conjunction with the consultant. All applications to the TAS are independently assessed by the HSE Health Intelligence Unit.