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NI patients accessed £97k worth of treatment in Republic

Thirty patients received treatment in the Republic in this period, according to data released to the Medical Independent (MI) by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB), Northern Ireland. Northern Irish patients will cease to access care via the Directive when the UK exits the EU.  

The healthcare providers were Aiséirí Aislinn Adolescent Treatment Centre, Co Kilkenny; Beacon Hospital’s Centre for Orthopaedics, Dublin; Beaumont Hospital, Dublin; Blackrock Clinic, Dublin; Bon Secours Hospital, Dublin; Euromedic Ireland-Sligo General Hospital; Euromedic Ireland-Northwood; Graiguenamanagh Health Centre, Co Kilkenny; Kingsbridge Private Hospital, Sligo; Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan; and the Sports Surgery Clinic, Santry.

A spokesperson for Beaumont Hospital said it had not targeted the Directive for income. The hospital’s priority is “to continue treating and accommodating patients from the State”, they added.

Given the small numbers accessing treatments and privacy considerations, the HSCB said it was not providing specific details on the treatments accessed.

However, the specialties involved were addiction, cardiac surgery, diagnostics, endocrinology, gynaecology, mental health, oncology and orthopaedics.

Under the Directive, the HSCB reimburses the actual cost of treatment or the NHS/Health and Social Care (HSC) cost, whichever is the lesser. Reimbursements made by the HSCB in 2014, 2015 and 2016 (to mid-July) for treatments in the Republic totalled £97,718 (€114,892).

Total cost of reimbursement for all applications was £17,340 (€20,393) in 2014 and £128,729 (€151,394) in 2015, according to the HSCB.

The most popular destinations for Northern Irish patients under the Directive were the Republic, Poland and Germany.

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