Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Questions (681)

Robert Dowds


681. Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Health if persons with epilepsy who require specialised treatment are eligible to seek treatment abroad under the treatment abroad scheme while the opening of the epilepsy units at Cork University Hospital and at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, is pending. [8205/13]

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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 883/04 and Implementing Regulation 987/09 and in accordance with Department of Health and Children 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).

Applications to the scheme are made prior to a patient travelling abroad, are processed in line with the above criteria, are medically assessed and a decision issued to the applicant.

In summary, all decisions including those from patients with epilepsy as referred to by the Deputy are made based on the criteria of the scheme and the medical assessors’ recommendation.