HC Deb 25 April 1972 vol 835 cc233-4W
39. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report a list of foreign and Commonwealth countries with which there are now reciprocal arrangements for the treatment of illness and accidents sustained by students and foreign residents; and the nature of these arrangements in detail.

Mr. Alison


Following is the information: 1. The countries fall in three main groups:

  1. (a) Countries which provide treatment under their scheme to both British residents and visitors. These are Bulgaria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Poland and Yugoslavia. New Zealand also gives such treatment, but they do this under their own legislation, and not under a reciprocal agreement. There is also an agreement with Austria which will provide hospital in-patient treatment to both British residents and visitors, but this has yet to be ratified.
  2. (b) Countries which provide treatment to British residents on condition that they are members of a sickness insurance scheme. In general this means people who are employed there or are the recipients of certain insurance benefits under local or United Kingdom legislation. These are Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Federal Republic of Germany and Switzerland.
  3. (c) Countries which provide limited treatment for certain beneficiaries under the British insurance scheme. These are Australia (who provide treatment for persons who qualify for the Australian Supplementary Pension), Israel and Malta (who provide treatment for people receiving certain industrial injury benefits; and in the case of Israel, for women who are entitled to a maternity grant, under the provision of the British insurance scheme).
The services available are provided on the same basis as to nationals of the countries concerned and are not always entirely free. The above agreements cover British students in those countries who fulfil the necessary conditions of the agreements. In other cases they are expected to make their own arrangements for private insurance to cover the cost of possible medical treatment. The Department of Education and Science issue a leaflet which explains the procedure.

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