Is Brexit affecting EU funded cross-border healthcare projects?


In 2018, the EU invested €8.8 million in cross-border Acute Hospital Services to benefit 13,000 patients in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The latest development was a new phototherapy project nursing team, commencing clinics in Letterkenny University Hospital. Other ongoing acute hospital services work involves hospitals in Belfast and Sligo.

The cross-border body Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT) secured this EU funding to assess and treat higher volumes of patients more effectively through improvements to and modernisation of current service delivery models.  CAWT has a raft of health services planned, and many completed through this funding. 

The CAWT Acute Hospitals Services project is scheduled to complete in 2022.

Both scheduled and unscheduled care services will be reformed and modernised as part of this cross-border, EU funded project. The scheduled care activities focus on the specialities of dermatology, urology and vascular interventions. Unscheduled care initiatives being implemented include new advanced community paramedic services, clinical decision unit, community cardiac investigations and a community geriatrician led service. It is also planned to establish an integrated clinical dermatology network using telehealth technologies.  

This is an important EU funded project taking a cross-border approach in order to improve access to services for people living in border areas in particular. 

CAWT exists to: 

  • Create opportunities for alternative, added value approaches to health and social care service delivery by facilitating people from both jurisdictions to collaborate, share ideas and develop practical solutions to common health challenges.
  • Identify solutions to barriers to the cross border mobility of patients and professionals.
  • Actively pursue strategic alliances with both internal health and social care partners and external agencies and groups in order to support the delivery of creative and innovative solutions to current and emerging health and social care challenges.
  • Provide comprehensive intelligence and facilitate sharing of data and information on cross border health and wellbeing.
  • Increase usage of technology within health and social care to improve care and enable better access to services.
  • Engage with and positively influence policymakers and other key stakeholders in relation to the development and direction of cross border health and social care.
  • Embed cross border planning and implementation in core activities, where more efficient and cost effective to do so.

All the funding for CAWT comes from the EU, not the nations involved. Many projects depend on an open border and good relations on all sides. 

Is the future of UK-Ireland cross-border healthcare now at risk?



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