Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (690)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

690. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the way in which the reimbursement scheme for reimbursing medical expenses for persons in Northern Ireland laid down in the Health and Childcare Support (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2019 will work in practice; and if detailed instruction can be given on the workings of the scheme. [45345/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health and Childcare Support (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2019 was passed by the Houses of the Oireachtas on 15 October, 2019 and is ready to be commenced if required.

This legislation, which will only come into effect in the event of a no-deal Brexit scenario occurring, provides for the establishment of a direct reimbursement scheme which will enable eligible residents of Northern Ireland to be reimbursed for the cost of necessary healthcare incurred while abroad in an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland.

Statutory regulations are also required to define as necessary the administrative arrangements for the direct reimbursement scheme and these are currently being finalised by officials from my Department, in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General.

Under the proposed direct-reimbursement scheme, eligible residents of Northern Ireland will pay upfront for necessary healthcare received in another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland and can then, following return home, apply for reimbursement of this expenditure from the HSE.

Residents of Northern Ireland will be able to apply for refunds via an online system which will refund eligible persons for necessary healthcare received.