Meaning of “healthcare” and “healthcare agreement”

Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 11:45 am ar 29 Tachwedd 2018.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Mr Speaker—sorry, Mr Stringer: although who knows what may happen later next year?

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

One that I am sure would be welcomed by Members on both sides of the Committee.

Clause 3 is very simple and sets out the definition of “healthcare” and “healthcare agreement” used within the Bill. The definition of healthcare is modelled on the definition provided in the Health and Social Care Act 2012, which we have adapted to include the additional element of ancillary care. That is to reflect where current arrangements provide for ancillary costs, such as travel, which do not fit strictly within the definition of healthcare. As in France, this is for use in circumstances where residents are reimbursed a contribution of their travel costs when attending healthcare appointments.

I would like to clarify that access to social care in England would not be provided for through any reciprocal healthcare agreement. It is up to each individual country to determine what is available through the public healthcare system, just as we do with the NHS. The clause would enable individuals to access healthcare on those terms.

A healthcare agreement could be made either bilaterally or multilaterally, or it could be an agreement between states, countries or multilateral organisations. Such agreements provide access to agreed forms of healthcare when individuals from one country seek healthcare in the other, and vice versa. They also provide for how the funding will be shared between parties. Funding could mean a direct payment, arrangements to waive or set off costs, or other arrangements to cover costs. Clause 3 is short but important.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 3 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 4