Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth is urging patients languishing on waiting lists for procedures to consider applying for the Cross Border Directive. The scheme provides an option for patients who are waiting for treatment in the public health system to go North or abroad to have the procedure carried out as long as it is not more expensive that the same treatment here.
Deputy Smyth explained, “Waiting lists for in- and out-patient procedures here are at record levels and unfortunately many patients are facing the prospect of waiting for months or even years before they are called for surgery. The Cross Border Directive could be an option for these patients to have their procedure carried out in a hospital in the North in a much more timely manner.
“Patients who are the public waiting list here and whose procedure is available in the North are able to qualify for the Cross Border Directive. While the patient has to pay for the procedure upfront, the money is usually reimbursed within one month. Any procedure which requires an overnight stay in hospital has to be sanctioned by the HSE beforehand, but many day cases can be arranged without prior approval.
“I have dealt with a number of cases myself including hernia operations, hip replacements and cataract procedures and patients have been pleased with the outcomes, and because of our proximity to the North, it suits many people to travel across the border, rather than having to go to Dublin.
“People who want to find out more about this scheme can contact my office or log on to www.hse.ie”.