EHIC card to go after Brexit?
The Independent today reports that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has admitted that Brexit could mean the end of free medical treatment in the EU for UK citizens: ‘It’s not possible to predict the outcome of the negotiations’, the Health Secretary told MPs who raised questions about the future of the EHIC card.
Brexit: Loss of EHIC ‘to stop thousands of Britons with long-term illnesses taking holidays abroad’
The newspaper reports that Jeremy Hunt has been urged to intervene in Brexit talks to stop British people from losing their right to free healthcare on the continent – amid warnings that changes could prevent those with long-term conditions from leaving the country at all. A cross-party group of British MEPs, including from the health secretary’s own Conservative Party, has written to Mr Hunt asking him to safeguard the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – a perk of EU membership that entitles UK residents to the same subsidised care as local patients.
Medical charities have warned that 29,000 kidney dialysis patients who need to attend hospital every other day would face insurmountable costs of more than £800 a week if the card goes, effectively putting holidays and rest breaks out of reach for people on ordinary incomes.