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Health: Former UK Residents

Volume 712: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 16 June (WA 199) concerning the non-reimbursement of National Health Service costs from the Governments of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, when they became aware that information was not being collected to allow such costs to be recovered. [HL4391]

On 6 December 2007, the department wrote to all European economic area (EEA) member states to advise that from that date their citizens would be required to present a European health insurance card (EHIC) in order to receive National Health Service treatment that becomes necessary during a visit to the United Kingdom, free of charge. This was based on the department's understanding that the lack of data was as a result of overseas visitors not bringing their EHICs to the UK. Subsequently, in February 2008, the department identified that trusts were capturing information on overseas visitors but it was insufficient to allow the UK to raise claims for treatment provided. Therefore, the department initiated a project to address this.