Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Questions (352)

Gino Kenny

Question:

352. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49849/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE currently operates two schemes that facilitate patients accessing treatment abroad.

The Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS) allows public patients to be referred to another EU/EEA country for treatment, in their public healthcare system, that is not available in Ireland, subject to qualifying criteria. A patient's Irish based consultant is responsible for referring the patient abroad under the terms of the TAS, after having exhausted all treatment options including tertiary care within Ireland. The treatment must be among the benefits provided for by Irish legislation. Also, the treatment must be a proven form of medical treatment and not experimental or trial treatment. The HSE provides information for patients on the TAS on its website.

An alternative where the treatment is available in Ireland is the Cross Border Directive (CBD), which the HSE operates in Ireland. Under the terms of the CBD, patients in Ireland can seek to be referred to another EU/EEA country for medical treatment that is available in the public health service in Ireland. The patient may access the overseas service in either the public or private health sector of the country they choose to receive the service in. The patient pays for the treatment and claims reimbursement from the HSE at the cost of that treatment in Ireland or the cost of it abroad, whichever is the lesser. The HSE through the National Contact Point (NCP) provides information for patients on the operation of the CBD.

The Deputy should advise the patient's family to contact the HSE TAS/NCP offices for advice on making an application for treatment abroad under the most appropriate scheme, in advance of travelling abroad. The TAS office may be contacted in writing at the TAS Office, St. Canice’s Hospital Complex, Dublin Road, Kilkenny or by email treatmentabroad.scheme@hse.ie. Dedicated phone numbers for each county are available on the TAS website. The CBD National Contact Point may be contacted in writing at HSE Cross Border Directive, St Canice's Hospital, Dublin Road, Kilkenny or by email: crossborderdirective@hse.ie or by telephone 056 778 4546. Information is also available on the HSE's TAS and CBD websites.