Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty MLA has called for Cross Border Surgery and Healthcare currently provided for under an EU Directive on cross-border healthcare to be retained following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Mr McNulty explained, ‘Cross border health care and surgery in particular is extremely popular, especially in border communities and it allows people to get treatment faster rather than sitting on long waiting lists. The scheme enables a patient to travel to the Republic of Ireland for treatment and they can travel to anywhere in the EU.’

‘In figures released to me this week, the Minister for Health Robbin Swan confirmed that over 3,300 people applied to be on the scheme since 2015 with 1345 in the last year alone. In the same period just over £8million was paid out to those who availed of the surgery.’

‘The scheme is extremely popular and it must be retained. It must be on the wish list from the Northern Ireland Executive in their dealings with both the UK and EU on post Brexit arrangements.’

‘Our health waiting lists are far too long. In an ideal world patients shouldn’t need to turn to schemes such as this. But, with no alternative within a reasonable timeframe people feel comforted by this arrangement. I have assisted many applicants and they have all been very impressed by the scheme, with the level of care they are given and the number of options open to them. This system must be retained, even post Brexit, to complement the existing services provided by the Department of Health here.’

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