Thursday, 19 November 2020

Ceisteanna (327, 328)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

327. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health the measures being taken to ensure that the EU cross-border directive on health-care remains in place post-Brexit with particular reference to Northern Ireland and the UK; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37698/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

328. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health the outcome of discussions if any that have been held with the Departments of Health in Northern Ireland and the UK on the EU cross-border directive on health-care post-Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37699/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 327 and 328 together.

Both the Irish and British Governments are committed to maintaining, in so far as possible, the current healthcare arrangements under the Common Travel Area (CTA).  Under the CTA, Irish citizens and British citizens who live in, work in, or visit the other state have the right to access publicly funded health services there. The Government is working to ensure that new arrangements through a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK will provide for continued access to reciprocal health services, between Ireland and the UK, including on the island of Ireland, which residents in both jurisdictions currently access.

It is acknowledged however that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has implications for healthcare arrangements that currently operate under the EU legislative framework, including those arrangements covered by the Cross Border Directive (CBD). With effect from 1 January 2021, the provisions of the CBD will no longer apply to the UK. My officials are giving detailed consideration to a number of policy and legal issues associated with the feasibility of implementing a unilateral CBD type arrangement which will provide that Irish residents can continue to access services provided by private health service providers in the UK post the end of the Transition Period.