(NB: For the latest on Brexit and how it may affect kidney patients - see our Brexit campaign page)
We welcome the proposals in the Brexit White Paper, published today, calling for ‘UK and EU nationals to continue to be able to use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)’ and that there ‘should be reciprocal healthcare cover…and co-operation on planned medical treatment.’ (Proposal 84 and 89 of the paper).
This will give hope to the 30,000 people on dialysis who rely on the EHIC to ensure they can receive their life-saving treatment when they need to travel in Europe for work or pleasure. We have been asking government to recognise this need for many months, and just last week heard from the EU deputy chief negotiator for Brexit that UK nationals living in the UK and who wish to visit an EU27 Member State after the transition period would be treated under rules applying to third country nationals. This confirmed our concerns that UK nationals requiring dialysis would not be covered under EHIC and that cover for their dialysis treatment is uncertain under rules applying to third country nationals.
We still have some way to go until we exit the EU on 29 March 2019, so we will continue to monitor this element of our negotiations and continue to fight for the rights of dialysis patients by working with policymakers, MPs,and MEPs.
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