Dáil Éireann - Volume 481 - 21 October, 1997

Written Answers. - Medical Services.

193. Mr. McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children if the amount of moneys received from the UK for medical services provided to their nationals in this country is arrived at by way of returns for services provided or some other method; if so, the way in which this figure is arrived at; if this money is allocated to the health boards; if so, the way in which it is apportioned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17137/97]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): The amounts received by my Department from the UK are for medical services provided to the following categories of people: temporary visitors from the UK to Ireland; retired UK pensioners who are residing in Ireland and the dependent families of persons who are working and insured in the UK.

In view of the large numbers involved in each of the above categories, Ireland and the UK, in line with the provisions of EC Regulation 574/72, agree their respective liabilities to one another on an average costs basis. The Irish Average Costs [1438] Paper is prepared by my Department and is presented on an annual basis to the audit board of the EU Commission for approval. When the average costs for a particular year have been approved, my Department use the data contained therein to calculate the UK's liability to Ireland in respect of medical services provided to persons in the above categories.

The amount received from the UK forms a total part of the Health Vote under appropriations in aid. In this context all such amounts form an integral part of overall health service funding which forms the basis of the financial allocations to health agencies.