Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said it is disappointing that the government have decided to establish a reimbursement scheme instead of extending the European Health Insurance Card scheme to people in north.
Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The government gave several commitments over the past number of weeks that they would be extending the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme to people in the north, post-Brexit.
“The EHIC card lets a person on holiday, or on a short-term stay, get access to healthcare in another EU or European Economic Area (EEA) state for free, or at a reduced cost.
“It had been hoped that the Health and Childcare Support (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2019 would deliver this measure and ensure that after Brexit people in the north would have access to an EHIC card and the benefits it entails, the same as all other people living in EU and EAA countries.
“Therefore, it is disappointing that the government have decided to establish a reimbursement scheme instead of providing people in the north with EHIC cards.
“This situation creates many practical problems as some people may not be able to pay these Bills in the first instance also, those who do pay could be left waiting months before they are reimbursed by the HSE.
“It is quite regrettable that the government have not fully kept to their word on this matter.
“Sinn Féin will be proposing amendments when the Bill comes before the Oireachtas Health Committee in the coming weeks to ensure that people in the north are provided with EHIC cards, the same as all other people living in EU and EAA countries.”