Thursday, 7 February 2019

Ceisteanna (163)

Charlie McConalogue


163. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Health if he has held discussions regarding the future of the cross-Border directive, in particular regarding patients accessing services in Northern Ireland post-Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6064/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The HSE operates the EU Cross Border Directive (CBD) in Ireland. Patients in Ireland can seek to be referred to another EU/EEA member state 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 EU/EEA member state 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.

As part of a whole of Government response to Brexit, the Department of Health is working to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated set of preparations to ensure continuity of health services post-Brexit. This work involves the Department and the HSE and other agencies in engaging in intensive Brexit preparedness and contingency planning.

Work is ongoing to ensure that insofar as possible there is minimum disruption to health services and that essential services are maintained on a Cross-Border, all-island and Ireland-UK basis.

It should also be noted that post-Brexit, patients in Ireland can continue to seek to be referred to the remaining EU/EEA member states for treatment under the CBD.