Fine Gael Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes has today (Thursday) criticised the HSE for its implementation of the Cross Border Healthcare Directive. Mr Hayes made his comments after receiving a negative response from the HSE to a ‘no cost’ suggestion which would improve awareness of patients’ rights.
“This EU Law allows a patient to avail of healthcare in a public or private facility in another EU country. The patient can then recoup the costs of the treatment from the HSE. Since the Directive came into force last year only 62 people have benefitted.”
“While I don’t believe patients should have to travel for healthcare treatment. I do believe they should be informed of their rights. I proposed to the HSE that the standard letters issued to patients on waiting lists have a paragraph included outlining their rights under EU Law. This can be as simple as stating its existence and including the website and phone number of the information line. It would have zero cost!”
“I believe the HSE refusal to implement this simple suggestion is disappointing. The HSE responded to my request stating that ‘There is long established trend that only 1% of patients ever travel to another country for treatment.’ This was prior to the Cross Border Directive coming into force and it won’t change until more citizens are made aware of its existence.”