Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Department of Health
Treatment Abroad Scheme
221. To ask the Minister for Health further to his commitment to Dáil Éireann on 5 March 2019 regarding the treatment abroad scheme, if he will address the delay in the turnaround timeframe for applications which has gone from within 20 days to 64 days due to staffing levels; his plans to address this backlog; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12626/19]
My understanding is that the question refers to the operation of the Cross Border Directive (CBD) in Ireland, whereby patients can seek to be referred to another EU/EEA country for medical treatment that is available in the public health service in Ireland. The HSE's target for reimbursing patients for healthcare accessed abroad under the CBD is a maximum of 20 working days from receiving all completed documents. However, the HSE has confirmed an increase in processing times which is due to a significant increase in the amount of applications received for the CBD.
A review is to be undertaken of current administration arrangements associated with the operation of the CBD scheme in the HSE, with a view to providing a report to my Department in the coming weeks.