An option for those on waiting lists for medical treatment here can be treatment in Northern Ireland – free of charge – under the Cross Border Initiative.
Details of how it works will be explained at a public meeting taking place in Mullingar next Tuesday night, March 13.
Organised by Deputy Robert Troy, the meeting will be addressed by an official from the HSE who will explain the scheme, and also attending will be a representative of Mullingar Credit Union, who will outline how the Credit Union will lend participants the upfront fees required – which are then reimbursed by the state.
“I will also be assisting anyone interested in applying to the Cross Border Scheme in completing the necessary paperwork and securing an appointment as soon as possible,” said Deputy Troy.
“The scheme has seen a steady stream of patients already make the trip north as waiting lists in the Republic show no signs of shortening, Deputy Troy said this week.
The scheme, which began in 2014, offers patients who have been waiting on the public waiting lists for a significant period of time the option to pay for their necessary procedure in a hospital of their choosing outside the country and receive a refund from the HSE within a matter of weeks.
"The Government have, despite numerous commitments failed to deal with waiting lists which are now at crisis point right across the country" stated Deputy Troy.
“I am contacted on a regular basis by people who have been waiting up to two years to have essential procedures carried out ranging from hip replacements to cataract surgery. As people linger on these lists their conditions continue to deteriorate and their quality of life is severely impacted on a daily basis.
“Though it is not ideal that our citizens have to leave the country to receive this necessary treatment the Cross Border Scheme offers a chance for suitable patients to have surgery carried out in a fraction of the time it is taking on the public waiting list and therefore improve their quality of life dramatically".