HC Deb 22 July 1975 vol 896 cc149-50W
Mr. Tierney

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress she has made regarding further agreements with foreign Governments for the provision of free medical treatment on a reciprocal basis for United Kingdom nationals visiting their country.

Dr. Owen

Reciprocal health care agreements aim to provide United Kingdom nationals visiting other countries with any necessary medical care on the same terms as nationals of the country visited. Agreements with the USSR and Malta came into force earlier this year. An agreement with the Federal Republic of Germany, which will provide for urgent medical treatment for those United Kingdom nationals not already covered by the EEC Social Security Regulations, is in process of ratification. Negotiations on reciprocal health care agreements are at present taking place with Czechoslovakia and Hungary, and discussions are in train with Japan. We are also currently engaged in discussions with our Community partners on the possibility of extending to the self-employed and non-employed the scope of the reciprocal medical treatment arrangements under EEC regulations.