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Falkland Islanders

Volume 22: debated on Tuesday 20 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has discretionary powers to provide free medical treatment to citizens of British Dependent Territories from the Falkland Islands, having regard to the recent decision to restrict such free treatment to Common Market nationals and residents of France's overseas territories.

As I explained in my answer to my hon. Friend on 1 March—[Vol. 19, c. 51–52]—nationals of European Community member States are exempt from charges for immediately necessary hospital treatment. For this purpose, French overseas departments count as part of metropolitan France.Exemption also applies to countries outside the Community with whom the United Kingdom has made reciprocal health care agreements. Proposals for such agreements have been offered to all British Dependent Territories, but an agreement has not yet been made with the Falkland Islands.Under the proposed arrangements, Falkland Islanders coming here to settle or to work will be exempt from charges.