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European Community (Reciprocal Medical Treatment)

Volume 972: debated on Monday 22 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will seek to simplify the procedure which enables British citizens to receive reciprocal free medical treatment in the member States of the European Economic Community; and if he will make a statement.

The Department takes every opportunity in relevant EEC discussions to press for simplification of the procedure, but the scope for achieving this is limited by the fact that the visitor must follow the procedure of the country where he seeks treatment. The procedure in other EEC countries is generally more complicated than in the United Kingdom, particularly because it usually depends on establishing entitlement under social security insurance. The Department issues two leaflets (SA 28/30 and SA 36) explaining the procedures. These are available in travel agents' and social security offices.