Skip to main content

Health Services: Republic of Ireland

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with the Irish Government on payments in respect of medical treatment delivered to UK pensioners in the Republic of Ireland; what estimate he has made of the annual sums overpaid to the Irish Government in respect of such treatment to date; and what assessment he has made of the reasons for such overpayments; (257516)

(2) what steps he has taken to recover overpayments to the Irish Government in respect of medical treatment delivered to UK pensioners in the Republic of Ireland; and what steps he plans to take to prevent future overpayments.

Departmental officials have been involved in discussions with Irish counterparts around the size of payments the United Kingdom makes to Ireland under a bilateral health agreement, in line with European Union regulations. As a result of new evidence around how much the UK and Ireland should pay each other under this agreement, it has been agreed that the payments the UK makes, will reduce in future years. Due to the nature of the claims process and the fact that bilateral discussions are ongoing, it is not possible to establish whether any previous payments the UK has made to Ireland represent overpayments.