Northern Ireland – Ireland medical travel

A new report calls for clearer information over the provision of cross-border healthcare on the island of Ireland.

The report by human rights watchdog the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has revealed the complex nature of cross-border healthcare in the wake of Brexit.

The post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland, designed to avoid a hard border on the island, remain controversial, with the UK Government planning to introduce legislation to override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

While for most people in Northern Ireland the right to access healthcare remains intact, significant uncertainties and complexities remain since the UK’s exit from the EU.

Workers who live in the Republic while working in Northern Ireland can, in theory, access healthcare on either side of the border. But in practice this is not easy. The relevant infrastructure in health and social care in Northern Ireland and Ireland is insufficiently adapted to manage the position of frontier workers under the Withdrawal Agreement.

To address these issues, the report calls for NHS infrastructure to be adjusted. It asks the authorities to provide accurate information in plain language so that the public are aware of their rights.

A total of 2,246 Northern Ireland citizens have availed of the scheme allowing them to receive healthcare treatment in the Republic, according to new figures in the report.