Cross-border health care at Altnagelvin and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital. Dublin, will remain available to patients from Derry and Donegal even in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
That’s according to the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and the Irish Health Minister, Eoghan Harris, who this week said reciprocal health care provision would continue notwithstanding Britain’s management of its departure from Europe.
Under current arrangements children from Derry with congenital heart problems can access life-saving heart surgery in Dublin.
Equally, patients from Donegal routinely access stent and cancer services at Altnagelvin Hospital at present.
During a reading of the Irish Government’s mammoth Brexit Bill in the Dáil this week, both senior ministers said none of this would change in 28 days time.
The Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019 is Dublin’s contingency plan for a ‘no deal’ Brexit and sets out the legislation that will be needed to protect the island from a damaging British crash-out.
The Taoiseach said: “Across the 15 parts, there are health provisions to protect citizens on a North-South basis. As a result, that children in Belfast will be able to continue to come to Dublin for specialist paediatric care and patients in Donegal will continue to access hospital care in Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.”
Deputy Harris said: “Both the Irish and UK governments are fully committed to continuing existing cross-border health service arrangements such as cardiology and cancer treatments in Altnagelvin Area Hospital in Derry and paediatric cardiology and associated maternity services in Dublin.
These are managed by Service Level Agreements, which do not require any legislative changes in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”
The Irish government believes cross-border health care will be safe in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit at the end of the month.