The HSE operates the Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS) for persons entitled to treatment in another EU/EEA Member State or Switzerland under EU Regulation (EC) No. 883/2004, as per the procedures set out in EU Regulations (EC) No. 987/2009, and in accordance with Department of Health Guidelines. Patients apply to the HSE TAS seeking access to public healthcare outside the State through model form E112. The application requires the patient's Irish-based public referring hospital consultant, following clinical assessment, to certify, among other things, that the treatment is medically necessary and will meet the patient’s needs. The treatment must not be available within the State or not available within a time normally necessary for obtaining it.
Applications to TAS are processed and a determination given in accordance with the statutory framework prior to a patient travelling to avail of treatment. Each application is reviewed individually and a decision is made in accordance with the legislation and guidelines and on the basis of a review by clinical experts. Each application is given a formal written decision and where a decision is one of decline, the reason for that decision is clearly outlined and the option of an appeal is afforded. Previous approvals or declines are not used as an influencing factor on subsequent applications. The appeals process is outlined in each decline letter without exception. Where on appeal a decline decision is upheld, the appeal decision letter advises that the applicant can make a further appeal to the Office of the Ombudsman.
Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.