PART 2 – Arrangements in Relation to Health Services PLACEHOLDER

Minister for Health

Part 2, which is intended to replace the arrangements provided in Part 2 of the 2019 Omnibus Act, provides that the Minister for Health will facilitate the provision of health services under the Common Travel Area Healthcare Arrangement currently being negotiated between the Department of Health in Ireland, the Department of Health in Northern Ireland and the UK Department of Health and Social Care. The shared objective is to have in place an enduring arrangement to provide reciprocal access to healthcare in the UK and Ireland, both on a planned basis and on an as- necessary basis (e.g. on a temporary visit in the other State). While the COVID 19 crisis has meant that face-to-face meetings have had to be suspended, negotiations via weekly videocalls have continued and concrete progress has been made in a number of key areas including in the area of planned treatment.

PART 3 – Reimbursement of Medical Expenses

Minister for Health

The purpose of the draft Heads is to make exceptional provision for the reimbursement of necessary medical expenses incurred by eligible residents of Northern Ireland during a temporary stay in an EU/EEA Member State (excluding Ireland).

Head 3-1. Definitions

Explanatory Note:

Definitions – sets out the definitions required for Part 3 of the Act.

Head 3-2. Reimbursement of medical expenses incurred by eligible persons in respect of necessary medical treatment

Explanatory Note:

This Head makes provision for the implementation of a scheme for the reimbursement of expenses incurred by eligible persons resident in Northern Ireland in respect of necessary medical treatment received in another EU/EEA Member State (excluding Ireland).

Head 3-3. Regulations

Explanatory Note:

This Head provides that the Minister may make, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, regulations to provide for the administrative arrangements to give full effect to the provision of the Bill. It also outlines the principles and policies which the Minister shall have regard to when drafting the regulations.

Head 3-4. Administrative arrangements between Executive and competent institutions

Explanatory Note:

This Head provides that the HSE may enter into arrangements with competent institutions in other EU/EEA Member States. Such arrangements may cover matters such as the processing of reimbursements, the calculation of the value of medical expenses to be reimbursed, the exchange of information between the two bodies and the facilitation of other administrative and technical cooperation in relation to the reimbursement of medical expenses.

Head 3-5. Review of operation of Part 3

Explanatory Note:

This provides for the HSE to be able to carry out a review of the operation of the Scheme no later than 2 years after its commencement and to submit a report to the Minister no later than one month after the report is conducted.

PART 5 – Amendment to Section 10(2) of the Employment Permits Act 2006

Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation

Head 5-1. Restriction on grant of employment permit

Explanatory Note:

Under the CTA UK citizens will not, after the UK leaves the EU, be required to obtain an employment permit to work in Ireland. The same will apply to Irish citizens working in the UK.

The Employment Permit Regime contains a number of protections for the domestic/EEA labour markets and the foreign national employee as well as fulfilling our EU (Community Preference) obligations. Part 5 will amend Section 10(2) of the Employment Permits Act 2006 so that employers are now required to have sourced at least 50% of their workforce from Ireland/ EEA, Swiss Confederation, or the UK. Currently UK citizens are included under EEA figures but after the UK leaves the EU post transition, the UK would no longer be included which would be an issue for businesses. This would give rise to considerable disruption for companies who are applying for new employment permits and for companies applying for employment permit renewals.

PART 6 – Arrangements in relation to Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases

Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment

Qualification to carry out activity relating to fluorinated greenhouse gases

Head 6-1. Interpretation

Explanatory Note

This head outlines definitions for the purpose of Head 6-2 by establishing what constitutes an equivalent certificate, equivalent training attestation and the relevant date.

Head 6-2. Equivalent certification, equivalent training attestation relating to individuals

Explanatory note

These provisions providing for an additional 6 month period of validity after the transition period for UK F-Gas certificates held by persons immediately prior to the end of the transition period. They also provide for recertification of these individuals during that 6 month period by way of application to the Environmental Protection Agency within the first 4 months of the additional 6 month validity period.

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