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Cork Independent


A right to health care in EU

Wednesday, 9th August, 2017 4:49pm

Irish patients have aright to health care in other EU countries but many still don't know their rights.

That was the thoughts of MEP Deirdre Clune on Tuesday who has called on the HSE to support and expand an information campaign by Irish GPs to inform patients that they can avail of their healthcare in another EU country.

Ms Clune welcomed a significant uptake in the number of Irish patients availing of the Cross Border Health Care directive in the latter half of 2016 but said there is still a significant number of patients on waiting lists who qualify, who don’t know of the scheme.

According to the Ireland South MEP: “In the first six months of 2016, just over €500,000 was spent by the HSE on paying for patient’s treatment abroad, whereas this grew to almost €2.5 million by the end of 2016.

The directive allows any public patient in Ireland who is awaiting treatment to avail of that care in another EU member state and get the costs of the treatment reimbursed by the HSE.

She concluded: “I acknowledge that the HSE has written to every GP and consultant in the country to inform them of the scheme at some point and has asked media to highlight and inform people of the existence of the Cross Border Health Care directive, but every avenue should be explored when it comes to informing patients of this scheme.”

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