(NB: For the latest on Brexit and how it may affect kidney patients - see our Brexit campaign page)
Earlier this year we wrote to the EU commissioner regarding our concerns that Brexit could have a devastating impact on dialysis patients’ ability to travel in and around Europe once we have left the EU. In a reply received last week we have heard from the Deputy Chief Negotiator for the EU, Sabine Weyand, that this is a very real possibility.
In her reply she states that individuals should be covered by EHIC until the end of the transition period (31 December 2020), but after that, unless reciprocal healthcare agreements are factored in to the Brexit negotiations, UK citizens will ‘be treated under rules applicable to third party nationals’ which means having to pay for their own dialysis in Europe, as they do in most other non EU countries at present.
The letter ends with a reference to paragraph 10 of the guidelines set out by the European Council in March 2018 in which Ms Weyand notes that the future ability for dialysis patients to travel in Europe depends on the level of ambition of the UK (negotiating team). We continue to campaign on this issue on your behalf as we passionately believe that without EHIC or an equivalent reciprocal health agreement, around 30,000 UK citizens would not be able to receive their essential life-saving dialysis treatment were they to travel into Europe and therefore would be unable to travel.
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