Thursday, 14 November 2019

Ceisteanna (119)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

119. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the steps taken to expedite the reimbursement of payments made by patients under the cross-border healthcare directive; and if contingency plans have been put in place for patients who may become financially vulnerable if there are delays in the reimbursement process. [46917/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The HSE is responsible for the operation of the Cross Border Directive and the management of the HSE Cross Border Directive (CBD) office is an operational matter for the HSE.

With regard to the issue of reimbursement delays for patients who have availed of the Directive, officials of my Department met with the HSE in July to discuss this issue.  At that meeting the HSE undertook to give consideration to measures which could be put in place in the short-term to address the significant backlog in processing applications, and to also examine current resourcing of the CBD office and to identify necessary actions to mitigate waiting times arising from current and future demand for the scheme.  A report is awaited from the HSE on the measures it proposes to take to address the delays in reimbursement. Applications are received and processed by the HSE in chronological order and there are no plans to make changes to this arrangement.

As I mentioned above the management of the CBD office is an operational matter for the HSE and I have referred the Deputies question to the HSE for direct reply as to the current position regarding waiting times for reimbursement and the steps the HSE has taken to address the backlog.