Belfast Telegraph

Dublin in bid to preserve health rights for Britons in EU countries

Irish health minister Simon Harris
Irish health minister Simon Harris

By Cormac McQuinn

Residents of Northern Ireland will continue to have access to healthcare in other EU countries in the case of a no-deal Brexit under plans to be brought to the Irish cabinet today.

Ministers will also discuss plans to allow British people who move to the Republic to avail of the new National Childcare Scheme (NCS).

Sources said Dublin's intention is to get the necessary legislation signed into law by the Brexit deadline of October 31 or, failing that, before the end of the Dail term at Christmas.

The new law will ensure that Northern Ireland residents retain access to health benefits in other EU member states equivalent to those currently available with the European Heath Insurance Card.

There is an amendment in the same legislation to ensure that British residents who move to the Republic won't be at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing the NCS, due to launch later this year.

Meanwhile, Irish health minister Simon Harris has hit out after Conservative MP Nigel Evans said last week that Ireland could face scarcities of certain drugs.

Mr Harris denounced the statement as untrue, and said he is at a loss as to why the MP would say it publicly.

"For me to try and get inside the mind of any Brexiteer would cause me a lot of pain and angst, so I don't intend to do that," he said.

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