'Panorama' claims State overcharged UK by €125m for medical care here


THE IRISH Government has overcharged Britain by at least €125 million over the last three years for treating people here who are covered by the UK health system, a BBC investigation to be broadcast today will claim.

The BBC Panorama programme will maintain that the UK health authorities are paying the Irish Government about €6,000 for every person covered by the British health system who is treated in Ireland.

British health minister Anna Soubry indicated she was concerned at the amount the British government was paying to Ireland under the current arrangement.

The Department of Health here has denied overcharging.

The Irish Times reported in August that the Government had received nearly €1.5 billion from the UK since 2007 under an existing bilateral deal.

This agreement, which dates back to 1973, allows health authorities in Ireland to receive payment for the cost of providing treatment to people covered by the UK health system but who are staying or living in Ireland.

These are mainly pensioners, temporary visitors or dependent families of workers.