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Health Services: Overseas Visitors

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of (a) emergency and (b) non-emergency treatment of people from (i) each EU member state, (ii) Jersey and (iii) the Isle of Man in each of the last five years. (321192)

Figures relating to the cost to the national health service of treating people from Jersey, the Isle of Man and Guernsey are not recorded centrally.

Claims made by the UK for recovering the cost of treatment provided to people from other European Economic Area (EEA) countries are shown in the following table. The claims cannot be broken down by treatment type.

EEA medical costs: claims by UK against member states—actual claims submitted for claim years 2005 to 2009

Claim against:

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Austria

637,046

626,820

229,422

253,174

20,738

Belgium

1,733,938

1,728,295

322,508

384,497

4,641

Bulgaria

418

2,507

Cyprus

382

4,515

Czech Republic

2,424

6,685

7,520

9,780

103,278

Finland

148

1,873

France

3,442,555

4,476,592

2,436,334

2,468,923

Germany

1,180,174

1,231,044

1,095,501

1,272,535

198,099

Greece

594,325

52,286

123,989

681,455

1,008,298

Hungary

10,658

8,219

37,558

Iceland

24,942

Ireland

18,827,803

18,145,976

20,681,774

22,348,347

28,882,678

Italy

4,831,422

4,928,362

147,251

708,649

1,005,645

Lithuania

1,880

Luxembourg

6,323

7,495

Netherlands

2,670,533

1,126,454

6,691

41,428

19,024

Norway

968

Poland

2,424

10,445

21,099

45,862

53,169

Portugal

460,030

358,320

22,914

172,331

33,626

Slovenia

45,790

183,600

5,991

61,434

Spain

2,551,006

3,024,577

117,857

132,504

124,249

Sweden

1,016,313

1,012,241

252,351

294,953

82,454

Switzerland

62,204

70,608

56,194

53,478

Notes:

1. Under European Union regulations claims relate to calendar years.

2. Due to the nature of the EU claims process member states (including the UK) may submit claims in arrears, often several years in arrears, and the settlement process for any one claim may extend over several years. Smaller supplementary claims may also be made, sometimes several years after main claims. Claims totals given are therefore a snapshot based on the current position, and are subject to change.

3. Totals for UK claims will include formula—based claims for temporary visitor costs under bilateral arrangements which provide for reimbursement linked to tourist numbers.

4. UK claims under those bilateral arrangements for years 2007 and later have yet to be submitted. These will be submitted following the publication by the European Commission of the UK’s average costs for those years, as data from those average costs are used in the calculation of claims. However, in some cases advance claim payments may be made under bilateral arrangements prior to the submission of the claim. Such advance claim payments will be reflected in the totals included in the table.