Thursday, 2 December 2021
Department of Health
Health Service Executive
222. To ask the Minister for Health the number of applications submitted for travel reimbursement under the HSE’s travel abroad scheme; the number approved; the total amount paid yearly for approved travel claims from the travel abroad scheme for the past seven years in tabular form. [59683/21]
223. To ask the Minister for Health the number of approved travel claims paid under the HSE travel abroad scheme that included reimbursement for a travelling companion for the past five years. [59684/21]
224. To ask the Minister for Health if travel that is not air or sea travel is eligible for reimbursement under the travel abroad scheme; his views on whether it is appropriate for only part of the journey to be recouped by those who are not able to access treatment in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59685/21]
The Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS) as provided for in EU Regulations, does not include a provision for travel and subsistence expenses for patients or their relatives travelling abroad to avail of approved treatments.
However the HSE, subject to available funding, under the Treatment Abroad Scheme Travel Policy, may provide assistance towards reasonable economic air or sea travel fares for patients, and a travelling companion where appropriate or where the referring consultant identifies a necessity. The HSE Treatment Abroad Scheme National Travel Policy was implemented to standardise and provide equity to the provision of entitlements relating to travel expenses. It does not include provision for expenses other than air/sea fares.
However, patients who experience difficulty funding any additional costs may apply to the Department of Social Protection for assistance as an exceptional needs payment. It should be noted that, in general, patients do not incur subsistence costs when undergoing treatment abroad as such costs are included in the cost of the care that the patient is receiving.
225. To ask the Minister for Health if additional staff in the HSE will be made available to process birth registration systems to deal with the current backlog of registrations; if not, the additional resources being provided and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59688/21]