HC Deb 10 April 2002 vol 383 cc464-5W
Dr. Fox

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many UK patients were treated in each overseas country(a)in and (b)outside the EEA in 2000–01; and how many patients from each country (i) in and (ii) outside the EEA were treated in the UK in each year. [40877]

Mr. Hutton

The available information has been placed in the Library.

UK residents are treated abroad in a variety of circumstances. No information is held centrally on treatment obtained abroad privately and which are the patients' own responsibility. Patients are likewise personally responsible for arranging and paying for treatments given in countries with which the UK has no reciprocal health agreements, with the exception of a few instances where special approval has been given for the NHS to pay for highly specialised treatment for serious conditions.

There are reciprocal health agreements with some non-EEA countries which provide emergency care for UK residents on temporary visits. But because these are on a cost waiver basis there is generally little information available to the UK on numbers of patients treated in the partner country.

Regulation (EEC) 1408/71 is the EC legislation which co-ordinates the health care systems of the EEA. It allows for health care to be provided abroad in a variety of circumstances. Member states pay each other for these treatments but information available is generally on treatment costs rather than patient numbers.

For patients coming to the UK, no information is held by the Department on treatments in the private sector. Neither is information held centrally on the number of patients not normally resident in the UK who have been treated by the NHS.

The bilateral health agreements with the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, some Caribbean and Atlantic Overseas Territories, Gibraltar and Malta permit limited numbers of referrals to the UK specifically for treatment. Some information is available centrally in respect of emergency treatments provided in the UK under bilateral reciprocal health agreements and in respect of treatments provided under Regulation 1408/71.

Forward to