HOLIDAY HEALTH

Will post Brexit health insurance make a hole in your holiday wallet?

on the beach at barcelona

The sun’s out in Barcelona but will holidaymakers have to pay for healthcare?

By Democrat reporter

Is your European Health Insurance Card something else you are going to lose “because of the madness that is Brexit”?

Or will a hospital bill or a GP consultation while you are on holiday make a hole in your wallet or purse?

MSP Rona Mackay asked the Health Secretary Jeane Freeman: “Will this card still be available for residents in Scotland following a no-deal Brexit or during any transition period?”

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport told her SNP colleague that under the withdrawal agreement of 8 December 2017, the current European Union regulations that apply to reciprocal healthcare, including the European health insurance card, would remain in force during the transition period.

She added: “The United Kingdom Government has responsibility for reciprocal healthcare on a UK-wide basis. The UK Government believes that the Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill could support a broad continuance of existing rights, such as those under the European health insurance card, in the event of a no-deal scenario.

“However, I am obliged to point out that that is simply the UK Government’s belief, and we have seen no evidence to substantiate it. In my view, it is therefore yet another reason to remove the option of a no-deal Brexit from the table.”

Rona Mackay said: “The Brexit mess that the Westminster Government has led us into is causing uncertainty at every level and will create more worry and expense for people in Scotland—who did not vote to leave the EU—when travelling abroad for leisure or business.”

Jeane Freeman replied: “I agree with Ms Mackay that this is yet another area of uncertainty and concern for people who wish to travel overseas and into the European Union following Brexit, whether that is for business, pleasure or education.

“We know that many of our fellow EU citizens—as well as ourselves—have enjoyed that ease of access. It is important to recognise that freedom of movement applies two ways.

“We are concerned about freedom of movement in terms of our capacity to attract the skills of EU citizens and secure the continuing contribution of those EU citizens currently living and working in our country.

“However, the same concern applies to our citizens’ freedom to move across Europe in the manner to which they have become accustomed. It is yet another example of inadequate planning, a poor approach and the madness that is Brexit.”

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