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House of Commons Hansard
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Leaving the EU: Healthcare
21 March 2018
Volume 638
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10. What steps the Government are taking to ensure that healthcare provision in Northern Ireland is maintained after the UK leaves the EU. [904418]

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There is ongoing positive engagement between UK Government officials and the Northern Ireland civil service to ensure that the current provision is maintained as part of the common travel area, as agreed in the joint report in the December Council.

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At the moment, children from Northern Ireland can access emergency heart surgery in Dublin, cancer patients from the Republic can have treatment in Derry and ambulances cross the border to attend emergencies. Can the Secretary of State give an absolute guarantee that that will continue post Brexit?

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I visited the hospital in Derry and saw for myself the excellent treatment that patients from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland receive there. About a third of the patients at that hospital come from the Republic. It is essential that we maintain that situation by maintaining the common travel area, as agreed in the joint report in December. [Interruption.]

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Order. There is a considerable hubbub in the Chamber, which is arguably discourteous to the people of Northern Ireland and certainly unfair on Members from Northern Irish constituencies. Let us have a respectful hearing for Mr David Simpson.

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The Secretary of State will be aware of the European health card system. Does she envisage that system continuing when we leave the European Union, or will there be some other arrangement?

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The hon. Gentleman will be pleased to know that that was one of the early matters to be settled as part of the negotiations with the European Union. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union was able to ensure that that will continue.