Health Services: British Nationals Abroad

Department of Health written question – answered on 31st October 2017.

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Photo of Philippa Whitford Philippa Whitford Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the potential cost of providing (a) NHS services and (b) social care to UK pensioners who are currently resident in an EU member state and who decide to return to the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne The Minister of State, Department of Health

During negotiations with the European Union on the Withdrawal Agreement, the United Kingdom has been seeking to protect the healthcare arrangements currently set out in EU Regulations 883/2004 and 987/2009. In the recent negotiating rounds, the UK has agreed with the EU to protect reciprocal healthcare rights for UK nationals who are resident in another member state on EU Exit Day. This includes individuals who are of UK state pension age, and those who are not yet at state pension age, once they start drawing their UK state pension. The agreement also applies to many others who have previously worked in the EU, irrespective of where they are living on EU Exit Day.

The Department is undertaking some modelling work to assess and understand how the UK health and social care sector would be impacted by a number of returning migrants. We also engage with our Embassies in EU Member States, which provides us with useful information about the concerns of UK state pensioners and other groups as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

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