Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Call for Manx reciprocal health agreement extension

The Isle of Man is to ask for a second temporary extension to its reciprocal health agreement with the UK if Whitehall fails to decide on new terms.

The current six-month extension ends on 30 September, but Manx chief minister Tony Brown has told Tynwald he will ask the UK to consider it for longer.

The Manx government wants the agreement to continue to ensure its people receive free hospital care in the UK.

Labour's health minister Andy Burnham insisted the deal would end.

The UK's coalition government is considering the terms of the agreement which also allows UK people free hospital care on the island.

'In their hands'

If the agreement is ended it is possible that a travel levy will be introduced for people travelling between the island and the UK or health insurance would need to be taken out.

If the agreement ends island residents would still receive free emergency treatment in the UK.

Mr Brown said: "If the UK government had concerns about signing off a reciprocal agreement by the deadline date then the Isle of Man government would seek an extension to the present arrangement to enable us to continue to discuss the matter.

"We are all aware of the pressures in the UK, but that said we're also very conscious that we in the Isle of Man wish to have a reciprocal health agreement with the UK.

"However that decision is is their hands, but we've made our decision."

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