Real need to cut red tape as 742 patients asked HSE about treatment abroad but only 62 went abroad in the last 12 months
New HSE Application form is cut from 30 pages to just 7
MEP for Dublin, Brian Hayes, has today (Monday) called on the HSE to inform those on waiting lists about their right to have treatment in another EU Member State. As part of the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive patients have the right to receive medical treatment in another EU Member State and the right to have some or all of the costs re-paid.
“This European law allows a patient to avail of procedures in a public or private facility in another EU country. The trouble is that patients on waiting lists do not know about it. You can recoup the costs of the treatment, up to what it costs in the public system in Ireland.”
“We cannot expect the patient waiting for procedures to simply discover this for themselves. Those on waiting lists are inundated with communications advising them about their place on a waiting list. I’m asking that a simple paragraph be included to advise of this EU scheme. I’m not asking for an expensive advertising campaign or another leaflet – just a simple paragraph in the letter sent to patients concerning waiting lists. I haven contacted the HSE to suggest this and I understand they are considering my proposal.”
“People are interested in this scheme as 742 people have enquired about it but only 62 were approved. The HSE has made strides to reduce the paperwork involved and this month reduced the 30 page application to 7 pages. This 3,000 word document is still complicated, but I welcome the improved application form. The HSE needs to do more to make it easier for Irish citizens to apply for this important new EU right,” concluded Mr Hayes.