Date lodged: 23 September 2016
To ask the Scottish Government whether it has received any information regarding planned changes to the European Health Insurance Card service following the result of the EU referendum.
Answered by: Shona Robison 7 October 2016
The Scottish Government has received no information regarding planned changes to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) service following the result of the EU referendum.
However, the EHIC stems from EU legislation (Regulation 883/2004) which sets out European co-ordination of social security arrangements and, as long as it is a member of the EU, the UK must comply with that legislation.
Therefore, at this time, the EHIC remains valid and allows UK residents to receive necessary state healthcare, in the event of illness or accident, during short-term visits to other European Economic Area (EEA) countries. It also allows residents from those countries to receive necessary NHS treatment when visiting the UK.
We recognise the considerable benefits of having access to state healthcare throughout the EEA whether during a short-term visit, planned healthcare, or as Scottish state pensioners living in other parts of the EEA. We will, therefore, make it clear to the UK Government that our citizens must retain their rights in this regard and that this must be treated as a priority in Brexit negotiations.