Health Minister “not yet ready” to green light post-Brexit international health plans

(Title Image: BBC)

In a letter to his English counterpart – copied in to the Senedd’s Health Committee (pdf) – the Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething (Lab, Cardiff S. & Penarth), said he wasn’t yet prepared to recommend the Senedd grants its consent to a law which will eventually set out healthcare arrangements for foreign nationals after Brexit.

A particular sticking point is funding:

“Whilst I note and welcome the commitment to no additional financial burdens being placed on Devolved Administrations in relation to UK schemes, I have concerns about the expectation that Devolved Administrations will be expected to bear the costs of healthcare provision provided to foreign nationals….It is unrealistic to expect that the Welsh NHS will bear the cost of healthcare provision resulting from a healthcare agreement that the Welsh Ministers have not been involved in and do not agree with.”
– Health Minister, Vaughan Gething

At present, EU nationals are entitled to receive public healthcare in the EU, EEA and Switzerland on the same basis, terms and price as a native by holding a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).