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Timeframe on implementation of Ombudsman report on “unreasonable” approach to overseas treatment needed – David Cullinane TD

18 April, 2023 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has called on the CEO of the HSE to publish a timeframe for the implementation of the Ombudsman’s recommendations on reimbursement for people undergoing treatment overseas.

The Waterford TD welcomed the commitment from the CEO to implement all of the recommendations.

Teachta Cullinane also called on the HSE to publish high-level data on the volume and types of treatment that people are travelling abroad for. He said that service gaps in the HSE should be identified to reduce the need for anyone to travel for healthcare.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“The HSE’s unreasonable and unfair approach to overseas treatment has harmed many families.  They have travelled abroad for vital healthcare, expecting it to be reimbursed by the HSE, with all of the proper paperwork, only to be saddled with debt.

“Waiting lists are far too long. Many patients have been left with no choice but to travel for healthcare which they should have received in Ireland.

“The Ombudsman’s report has shone a spotlight on the HSE’s inflexible approach, and the commitment from the CEO of the HSE to implement all of the Ombudsman’s recommendations is welcome.

“The HSE must publish a timeframe for the implementation of all recommendations and outline any additional resources which the overseas reimbursement programmes might need to cover these costs.

“This should include an analysis of the types of treatment which people are travelling for, and the volume of patients being treated abroad, to identify services gaps.  

"This should inform capacity planning in the health service to minimise the need for any patients to ever travel abroad for healthcare.”

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