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Health Services: Reciprocal Arrangements

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has undertaken into the circumstances in which people gain access to health care outside the UK through the European Health Insurance Care card; and if he will make a statement. (270353)

The Department has commissioned a number of surveys and pieces of research on use of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Most recently, this informed departmental press and media communications to make the British population aware that a new EHIC is only valid for five years. All British citizens should make sure they have a valid EHIC so they can access state-provided health care that becomes necessary while travelling in Europe. Travel insurance is also needed as the EHIC does not cover all eventualities (like repatriation).