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Treatment Abroad

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health following the ruling of the European Court of Justice of 16 May 2006 on the reimbursement by the NHS of a patient who receives treatment in another member state under the E112 scheme, whether patients seeking infertility treatment would be eligible for treatment under this scheme. (78585)

From 1992 to date, 11 applications have been approved for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment abroad under the E112 scheme.

The Court of Justice's judgment in the Watts case confirmed that it is justifiable for patients seeking hospital treatment abroad, at national health service expense, to be required to obtain prior authorisation from their healthcare commissioner before being treated. The judgment also confirmed that the conditions that apply to service availability within the United Kingdom can also apply to requests for treatment elsewhere in the European Union: primary care trusts will consider requests on a case by case basis.

General guidance on the implications of the Watts case will be issued to the NHS shortly.