Cross-border healthcare has already existed seamlessly for decades in the EU, for instance between the Netherlands and Belgium, in all specialities.
At Castle Craig, we now receive a steady flow of EU patients who are making use of their fundamental rights as EU citizens and the bureaucracy can be considerably less than that existing in the NHS at home.
With regard to payment for services, provision is made in the directive for the provider to be paid directly when it is in the patient’s interests. Alistair Darling’s scare scenario regarding reimbursement is therefore disingenuous.
Scotland could in fact benefit considerably from cross-border healthcare patients from England with the income, both to the NHS and private sector, taking advantage of research and medical developments of which Scotland has so frequently been at the forefront.
An example of this could be cross-border telemedical treatment. The income derived would help to develop and improve medical services in Scotland.
Castle Craig Hospital
West Linton, Peeblesshire
Lesley Riddoch frets about services in the future Scotland and asks some questions. “Who wants a postal service that stops at Hadrian’s Wall?” she wonders.
This is odd. The Royal Mail delivers letters to Australia, Canada and Europe. It does not stop at the English Channel.
However, the nearest post office is now more than seven miles away from my home; and the Post Bus in Wester Ross no longer carries passengers. I want these services restored, and this will not happen given the continuation of the political status quo.
Lesley Riddoch also creates a boundary between the NHS in Scotland and England. When I had a severe stroke in Norway many years ago I was treated in a first-class manner, for nothing, incidentally discovering that the British NHS was not as good as its continental equivalents.
Iain WD Forde