Have your say on the Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill

15 November 2018

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 27 November 2018; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which is expected to be not later than 5.00pm on Tuesday 4 December 2018. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Tuesday 4 December 2018.*

* In the last Parliamentary Session, the following Public Bill Committees concluded their consideration of the Bill earlier than scheduled: Criminal Finances, Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts), Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs), Neighbourhood Planning, Savings (Government Contributions), Technical and Further Education, Commonwealth Development Corporation, Children & Social Work, National Citizen Service, and Bus Services.

Aims of the Bill

The Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill 2017-19 would give the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care powers to bring in regulations to:

  • fund, arrange and make payments in relation to healthcare outside the UK;
  • give effect to any healthcare arrangement between the UK and other countries, territories or international organisations (such as the EU); and
  • make provision in relation to data processing, which will be necessary to underpin these arrangements and agreements.

The Bill is an enabling measure, it contains 6 clauses and does not provide detail as to the operation of future reciprocal healthcare arrangements.

The Explanatory Notes for the Bill provide information on each clause but a short summary is provided below:

  • Clause 1 provides the Secretary of State with a power to make payments, and arrange for payments to be made, to fund healthcare outside the UK.
  • Clause 2 provides the Secretary of State with a discretionary power to make regulations that make provision: a. in relation to the payments and arrangement for such payments in respect of healthcare outside the UK made under clause 1, b. for and in connection with the provision of healthcare outside the UK, and to give effect to healthcare agreements.
  • Clause 3 defines “healthcare” which is used in clause 1 and clause 2, and “healthcare agreement” which is used in clause 2. The definition of “healthcare” is modelled on, but not confined to the definition contained in, the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The additional element of “ancillary care” is included to enable the Secretary of State to provide, where considered necessary, for ancillary costs such as travel costs which do not strictly fall within the definition of healthcare.
  • Clause 4 provides a legal basis for processing data to facilitate reciprocal healthcare after the UK leaves the EU, whether as part of an agreement with the EU, an agreement with a country outside of the EU, or in connection with contingency plans. It also provides that “appropriate safeguards” are in place in relation to data transfers. For example, the clause provides a basis for facilitating data processing to support the making of payments for healthcare outside the UK.
  • Clause 5 provides that regulations made under this Bill are exercisable by the Secretary of State by statutory instrument. Its provisions include that regulations made under Clause 2 may amend, repeal or revoke primary legislation. This use is restricted to regulations made for the purpose of conferring functions or to give effect to a healthcare agreement, and that any such regulations will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. This clause also provides that regulations under the Bill may amend repeal or revoke retained EU law.
  • Clause 6 relates to the Bill’s extent, commencement and short title; the Bill extends to the whole of the UK and its provisions will come into force on Royal Assent.

The Bill’s primary function is to allow the UK to implement arrangements in various different Brexit deal scenarios

Follow the progress of the Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill

The Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill 2017-19 (HC Bill 279) was published on 26 October 2018. The Second reading of the Bill in the House of Commons was held on Wednesday 14 November 2018.

This Bill has now been committed to a Public Bill Committee and is expected to hold its oral evidence sessions on the morning of Tuesday 27 November 2018. The Public Bill Committee must conclude by Tuesday 4 December 2018.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

Deadline for written evidence submissions

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration and possibly reflect it in an amendment. The order in which amendments are taken in Committee will be available in due course under Selection of Amendments on the Bill documents pages. Once the Committee has dealt with an amendment it will not revisit it.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 27 November 2018; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Tuesday 4 December 2018. Please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Tuesday 4 December 2018.

Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk

Further guidance on submitting written evidence can be found here (PDF PDF 1.25 MB).

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