Brendan Smith welcomes commitment from Minister on Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has welcomed a renewed commitment from the Minister for Health to continue the scheme which enables eligible patients to access healthcare in Northern Ireland.

Deputy Brendan Smith, who had urged the Minister to ensure the Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme has legislative status, commented, “I welcome the Minister’s commitment to a continuation of this new Scheme. The Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme enables persons resident in this State to access and be reimbursed for private healthcare in Northern Ireland by the HSE, provided such healthcare is publicly available within Ireland.

“The Minister has informed me that work is progressing to determine the legislative framework necessary to underpin the operation of the NI Planned Healthcare Scheme and an extensive examination of options to inform the drafting of a General Scheme is currently underway. The Minister added that the administrative scheme will remain until such time that a statutory scheme is in place.”

The Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme has been in effective operation since 1 January 2021 and is operating on an administrative basis. This Scheme was introduced to mitigate the loss of access to care from private providers in Northern Ireland under the EU Cross Border Directive, which ceased to apply as a result of Brexit.