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EU reciprocal healthcare arrangements: Brexit guidance

Published Friday, October 11, 2019

This Commons Library briefing provides an overview of some of the guidance that the UK Government has published on reciprocal healthcare after Brexit.

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There remains some uncertainty about the status of current EU reciprocal healthcare arrangements in the event the UK leaves the EU without a negotiated deal. The NHS website provides information on travelling to the EU after Brexit and includes links to information on individual countries.  The UK Government has also published some recent advice on accessing healthcare after Brexit for UK nationals living in the EU/EEA and Switzerland (updated 23 September 2019), and for citizens of the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland living in the UK (updated 3 October 2019)

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) made a Written Ministerial Statement on 26 September 2019, about its plans for reciprocal healthcare, particularly in the event of no-deal. This restated that the UK Government has proposed to all EU Member States that existing reciprocal healthcare arrangements should continue until 31 December 2020 in a no-deal scenario. These existing arrangements currently provide access to healthcare for UK-insured individuals living in EU/EEA countries, and UK nationals who require medical treatment while holidaying in Europe. They also ensure that EU/EEA citizens can receive healthcare in the UK, whether they are here on holiday, or to live and work.

While EU reciprocal healthcare is funded and administered on a UK-wide basis, the Devolved Administrations have responsibility for healthcare provision in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK Government has said it is working closely with all parts of the UK on its approach to reciprocal healthcare arrangements after Brexit.

This Commons Library briefing provides background information and links to further reading and guidance on:

  • Current EU reciprocal healthcare arrangements (Section 1)
  • Healthcare after Brexit for citizens of EU/EEA countries and Switzerland living in the UK (Section 2)
  • Healthcare after Brexit for UK-insured individuals living in EU/EEA countries and Switzerland (Section 3)

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8683

Author: Tom Powell

Topics: Health services, Patient rights and complaints

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