HC Deb 11 November 1980 vol 992 cc184-5
16. Miss Joan Lestor

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many children born in the United Kingdom are not covered for medical treatment in EEC countries.

Mr. Prentice

I regret that information to make a reliable estimate is not available.

Miss Lestor

Is not the Minister aware that thousands of children whose parents have paid national insurance contributions for many years are denied medical treatment in EEC countries because their parents are not EEC nationals? Is he aware that this causes tremendous difficulty—for example, for school parties when going abroad? When is the EEC likely to change its attitude and what are the Government doing to persuade it to change its attitude?

Mr. Prentice

We hope that it will be changed very soon. We share the view that the hon. Lady has expressed. The Government have been taking the initiative within the Community to try to get an amendment accepted that will cover children in the position that she has described. We hope that the issue will come before the Council of Ministers on 27 November and that a solution might be reached at that meeting.

Mr. Jessel

What is the current position for the children of self-employed persons requiring medical treatment in EEC countries?

Mr. Prentice

That matter also will probably be on the agenda on 27 November.

Forward to