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European Health Insurance Cards

Department of Health written question – answered on 4th March 2016.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many UK citizens currently have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC); and how many such people have used their EHIC to obtain state provided healthcare in other EU countries in each of the last five years.

Photo of Ben Gummer Ben Gummer The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The United Kingdom EHIC means that people living in the UK are able to travel to the European Economic Area (EEA) safe in the knowledge that they will be able to receive free or reduced cost healthcare should they need it.

There are currently 27,570,911 cards in circulation, as of January 2016. The number of cards granted since 2006, providing such cover is:

2014/15 - 5,414,977

2013/14 - 5,571,060

2012/13 - 5,240,608

2011/12 - 6,830,734

2010/11 - 5,703,895

2009/10 - 4,162,170

2008/09 - 4,269,023

2007/08 - 4,160,935

2006/07 - 5,163,121

Source: Business Services Authority

The Department does not hold information on how many people have used their UK EHIC to obtain state provided healthcare in another EEA country in any 12 month period. This is because data on UK EHIC usage is recorded by individual treatment episode rather than the card holder.

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