Skip to main content

Health: EU Proposals

Volume 697: debated on Monday 17 December 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What effect the proposed European Union directive to allow European Union residents to receive non-emergency healthcare free of charge in all 27 member states will have on the organisation and finances of the National Health Service; and what is their likely response to the proposed directive. [HL618]

No proposals have been published to date. The existing case law already gives entitlements for patients from other European Union countries to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) in order to receive treatment. Anyone travelling to the UK specifically for healthcare will have to pay upfront the full National Health Service cost of treatment, and the Government are committed to ensuring that, where UK patients travel abroad for care, the NHS retains the ability to decide what care it will fund.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they intend to have the proposed directive on free non-emergency healthcare debated and voted upon in both Houses of Parliament before the issue is debated and agreed in Brussels. [HL619]

No draft directive has been published to date. Any proposals will be subject to scrutiny by the House of Lords European Union Select Committee and the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee. In future discussions on any proposal, the department will work to protect the United Kingdom's interests, emphasising the need for any European legislation in this area to be proportionate.