Kingsbridge Reaches Milestone With 100th Bus Carrying Patients From West Cork Coming For Cross Border Healthcare Treatment

Posted By:
Kingsbridge Private Hospital

20th Sep 2022

Kingsbridge staff welcomed cataract patients travelling from West Cork at the weekend with a cake and party food to celebrate the 100th bus travelling up to their hospital in Belfast.

5000 patients have stayed in NI over the last 5 years for Cross Border Healthcare contributing to the local economy.

Kingsbridge Healthcare Group (KHG), Northern Ireland’s leading independent healthcare company has just welcomed the 100th bus carrying cataract patients from West Cork to be treated for cross border surgery at their hospital in Belfast.

This latest contingent represents a total of 1800 people treated so far from this area through an initiative started five years ago by Michael Collins, Independent TD who has been transporting patients and their chaperones from his constituency where many are on the waiting lists for cataract and orthopaedic procedures.

Mark Regan, Chief Executive with KHG said the availability of this service is life changing for many people in the south of Ireland.

“We are delighted that Michael’s constituents have made Kingsbridge their hospital of choice, many of whom have been waiting a considerable period for treatment for cataracts and knee and hip surgery. With so much pressure on surgery delivery throughout the north and south of Ireland we welcome this alliance with Michael and all those who choose Kingsbridge for their cross-border healthcare treatment and surgery requirements.“

The ‘Cross Border EU Healthcare Directive’ has now been replaced with the Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme (NIPHS) allowing anyone entitled to public health services in Ireland to access those service in NI and be reimbursed by the HSE for the cost of the medical treatment.

“It was a great honour to welcome the 100th Bus this weekend to Kingsbridge Private Hospital in Belfast and it truly is a privilege to help these patients get a new lease of life, especially those having cataract surgery, as the results are instant in most cases when they remove the bandages the day after their procedure.”

An additional benefit of the NIPHS is the positive impact on the hospitality sector that benefits from overnight stays by patients and those accompanying friends and relatives for their operations.

Medical tourism is potentially a huge growth area in Northern Ireland, and I feel it is a sector we are making a positive contribution to. Over the last 5 years procedures undertaken at Kingsbridge both those coming up on the buses and those patients travelling independently, have contributed over 5,000 reservations at hotels, securing jobs and contributing to the local economy.  We hope this increase will build as the demand continues for 5-star healthcare in both our hospitals in Belfast and Ballykelly,” says Mark Regan

Those wishing to find out more about the NI Planned Healthcare Scheme can go to Kingsbridge Cross Border Healthcare for more information, videos, patient testimonials and FAQ’s.

Pictured with are: Carmel O’Sullivan from Passagewest, Mark Regan CEO Kingsbridge Healthcare Group and Patrick O’Driscoll from Clonakilty.