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Medical Treatments: EC Countries

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many European Health Insurance Cards (a) his Department and (b) other issuers within the UK have issued to non-UK nationals in each of the last 11 years, broken down by member state. (250880)

The United Kingdom has issued around 30 million UK European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) to date. A breakdown by year can be found in the following table. The EHIC was only introduced across the European Economic Area in September 2005, therefore data for 11 years are not available. There is only one issuer of the EHIC within the UK, which is the NHS Business Services Authority. The nationality of the applicant is not recorded during the EHIC application process as this is irrelevant; entitlement to free national health service treatment and also to an EHIC, is based on being ordinarily resident in the UK rather than on British nationality or the previous payment of taxes to the UK.

EHIC cards issued

September 2005-March 2006

5,592,334

April 2006-March 2007

7,189,876

April 2007-March 2008

4,160,935

April 2008-December 2008

2,961,485

Note:

As part of the transition to the EHIC from the E111, E111 applicants could automatically apply for an EHIC by indicating so on the application. 11,477,178 EHICs have been issued in this way.