Skip to content

Note that it’s the NHS, not The Europeans, responsible for this Brexit problem

NHS patients claim they are being “blocked” from using a reciprocal post-Brexit healthcare agreement which would allow them to receive treatment quicker abroad.

The scheme, known as the S2 funding route, allows patients to undergo planned treatment, such as hip operations, in a European Union country through its state healthcare system.

The UK remained part of the scheme after exiting the EU as part of the Withdrawal Agreement, and EU residents are similarly entitled to apply for treatment on the NHS.

But patients report having to “jump through hoops of fire” to be approved, while waiting months in pain in NHS backlogs. To be approved under the scheme a doctor must confirm the wait for treatment on the NHS would count as an “undue delay”.

This is home grown that is. Actually, nowt to do with Brexit at all – the NHS weren’t ‘appy about doing this before freedom either.

11 thoughts on “Note that it’s the NHS, not The Europeans, responsible for this Brexit problem”

  1. This S2 thing. I got my residence here shortly after the UK finally achieved its severance. But I still haven’t managed to get on the Spanish health system. Firstly because we were still under Covid restrictions & everything in Spain requires an appointment. Appointments could only be applied for by calling a number & working through the menu. And there wasn’t a menu item for the appointment required. Things have now eased slightly but still no joy. First one needs a certificate of enpadronamente. Which shows one does live in the health area. Which requires an appointment & the certificates expire after 3 months. Then one needs the UK S2 documents stamped, which would also require an appointment. But to get that required a digital certificate which requires – you guessed it – an appointment to get one ID document authenticated. FK what that is but I can tell you that 2 attempts haven’t succeeded in producing one. I’m on my third certificate of enpadronamente, all with 3 week waits for the appointments.
    Now I can recall similar experiences with documentation issues in France. And always one’s dealing with a system only available in the country’s language(s).
    Contrast with the UK, where they bend over backwards to induct foreigners onto the systems. Advice documents available in any language & alphabet you care to imagine & all the multilingual assistance one might require. They’ll do everything for the fortunate foriner. Maybe there’s something to be learned from this regarding popular countries for immigration?

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    When we drove to Cyprus in ’86 for no other reason than I my passport was on top the import stamp for the car was put in my passport when we entered Greece. We had a week in Athens due to the ferry to Cyprus being cancelled and it looked like I might have to fly on and leave Mrs BiND to take the ferry.

    It took all day to get the car transferred on to her passport and most of that was in one office going from queue to queue, filling out different forms at each desk. Finally, we thought we finished when the last guy demanded photocopies and we had to go to the shop next door. My guess is a relation because they were very expensive.

    I think we’d still be there if some kind Greek guy hadn’t taken us under his wing.

  3. jgh
    The S2 route allows you to get treated in a public hospital. Most good European hospitals are private, and often the public hospitals are as poor as those old Romanian orphanages.
    Denmark is almost all public, so that’s the place to start. The system is near identical to the NHS, with the exception that survival rates are way better and waiting lists are very short. I’d suggest getting a provisional appointment first, then get the referral from you GP.
    You need sharp elbows and a deep understanding of British bureaucracy to make this work. Almost like there are two classes of NHS patients.

  4. I should add that elective procedures cost much less on most of the continong than on the NHS. The NHS would actually save money and shorten waiting lists if they simply shipped patients to Euro private clinics. A cataract op on the NHS has a (notional, internal market) price of over a grand, but you could get one done in Hungary for half the price, and by a robot, not a shaky handed surgeon.

  5. Most good European hospitals are private, and often the public hospitals are as poor as those old Romanian orphanages.
    I got to see the public sector here, last year. At least I presume it was. As the recipient of its benefits certainly doesn’t have insurance & nor did it look like any of the other people there had. However, rapid, efficient & effective. And hospitable. Indistinguishable from the private one I used apart from being shorter on the luxury.

  6. robert austin gorwill

    Hi, I am a UK pensioner resident in Portugal under the S1 scheme….ie in the Portuguese NHS system !

    As I understand the situation I am still entitled to use the EU healthcare systems through the S2/EU directive which should give me entitlement to access other EU healthcare for a hip replacement etc…..

    UK NHS tell me that Portugal is now responsible for my healthcare under the S1 system and should go through the Portuguese authorities to access the S2 scheme.

    However the Portuguese GP says that he knows nothing of any such scheme !!!

    Any help or suggestions please ?……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *