Fianna Fáil Senator Robbie Gallagher is urging that the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive be supported so that border communities can continue to access medical treatment in the North.
The Cross-Border Healthcare Directive entitles Irish patients waiting for surgery procedures in the Republic of Ireland to obtain treatment, in either a public or private setting, within Northern Ireland.
At present, a temporary and comparable scheme has been put in place by the government in respect of residents of the Republic seeking treatment in the North. This is known as the Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme.
Senator Gallagher raised the issue at the Seanad Special Select Committee on the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
“Under the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive, border communities have been able to access prompt medical care and treatment in Northern Ireland – accessing this healthcare in the same way you’d get public healthcare in the Republic of Ireland,” Senator Gallagher said.
“It is a vital scheme that allows people who are facing long surgical waiting lists here to travel to Northern Ireland for a range of assessments and treatment.
“The temporary scheme that has been introduced, the Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme, needs to be given permanent status so that border communities can continue to access this crucial scheme.”