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Health Services: Isle of Man

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 3 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether subordinate legislation is required to give effect to the decision of the UK Government to end the reciprocal health agreement between the UK and the Isle of Man with effect from 1 April 2010; and if he will make a statement. (320155)

No subordinate legislation is required to give effect to the decision to end the reciprocal healthcare agreement between the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man. The UK Government agreed a one year notice period with the Isle of Man Government to end the agreement, double the six months notice period contained within the agreement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will negotiate an agreement with the Isle of Man Government to ensure that elderly persons and chronically sick and disabled persons who wish to make visits between the UK and the Isle of Man will continue to be eligible for free emergency hospital admission and treatment in either jurisdiction, providing that they are unable to obtain travel and health insurance at a reasonable cost due to their medical condition. (320188)

The UK Government have committed to working with the Isle of Man Government to carry out a review of the ending of the reciprocal healthcare agreement with the Isle of Man. The review will take place around six months after the agreement ends and will address any unforeseen consequences, including access to insurance. Accident and emergency treatment will continue to be free.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) with reference to paragraph seven of the Minister of State's letter of 22 January 2010 to the co-chair of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly on the UK's decision to terminate reciprocal health arrangements with the Isle of Man with effect from 1 April 2010, under what arrangements free emergency hospital admission and treatment will continue to be afforded to visitors to the Isle of Man who are visitors to the UK from a country which has a bilateral healthcare agreement with the UK; and if he will make a statement; (320189)

(2) with reference to paragraphs six and seven of the Minister of State's letter of 22 January 2010 to the co-chair of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, under what agreement or authority (a) all UK pensioners visiting the Isle of Man who have lawfully lived in the UK for 10 continuous years will receive free emergency hospital treatment and admission and (b) there will be no variation in such provision following the termination of the reciprocal health arrangement; and if he will make a statement.

Free emergency hospital treatment will continue to be afforded to visitors to the United Kingdom from a country with which the UK has a reciprocal healthcare agreement. This provision does not extend to those visiting the Isle of Man, given that is not part of the UK.

The exemption from national health service charges for UK pensioners who have previously lived in the UK for 10 continuous years, under the national heath service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended, applies only to UK pensioners visiting the UK. It does not apply to UK pensioners visiting destinations outside of the UK, including the Isle of Man.