EU citizens may have been wrongfully charged for NHS treatment, IMA finds

Health ,

The Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements (IMA) has identified that some unsuccessful applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) may have been wrongly charged for NHS treatment.

As part of its monitoring work, the IMA became aware that some health bodies within the UK may have been charging applicants who were later unsuccessful to the EUSS for treatment received during the period in which their application was being determined.

The IMA considers that this is incompatible with the Withdrawal and Separation Agreements which provide for rights which apply to EU and EEA EFTA citizens and their family members during the period in which their application to the scheme is being determined.

The IMA is currently working with the UK and devolved governments to establish whether patients have been incorrectly charged, how many people may have been affected and how they will be reimbursed. The IMA will also meet regularly with representatives from relevant departments to monitor the progress of this work.

As a result of the IMA’s work so far, the following progress has been made:

Pam Everett, IMA Director of Operational Delivery said:

 “The IMA has an important function to monitor how UK public bodies are protecting the rights of EU and EEA EFTA citizens and their family members and to promote the effective application of their rights.

“In this case, we have identified an issue that has the potential to affect many citizens and we are engaging with the relevant authorities to rectify it. We appreciate that it will take some time to gather information on the size and scale of the potential problem due to the localised nature of NHS bodies, so we are working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure that anyone who has been wrongfully charged will be reimbursed.”