The government has been described as sick and uncaring by an organisation representing more than 10,000 British nationals in Europe over NHS healthcare plans for pensioners in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
British nationals who have retired to EU countries have reacted with fury to what they describe as an insulting and offensive offer by the government to cover healthcare costs for up to one year if they had applied for or are undergoing treatment before exit day.
This is in contrast to the current reciprocal arrangement whereby the NHS reimburses EU member states for treatment of those who have paid into the UK national insurance system for a qualifying number of years.
“So if the person has paid into the system all their lives and retired to an EU country in good faith, with all the reciprocal arrangements in place, they could be left high and dry if they, say, get cancer after 29 March,” said Kate Husband, whose parents, both 80, a teacher and an architect, moved from Cornwall to join her and her husband in Brittany 25 years ago.
Pensioners will be eligible to return to the UK and get treatment on the NHS under the contingency plans, the health minister, Stephen Hammond, revealed in a statement on Tuesday.
“How can pensioners with cancer, cardiac problems or other major issues be expected to make or even afford repeated visits to the UK for regular vital treatment?” asked Dave Spokes, coordinator at Expat Citizens Rights in the EU (Ecreu), an organisation with 11,000 members across the EU.
Full article in The Guardian