The Irish Government’s health service, the Irish Free Press, is fighting to stop the use of free proxy sites by doctors to give patients free access to medical information.
In a submission to the European Court of Justice, the FAI called on the European Commission to stop using the sites for medical research and use them instead for free.
The FAI submitted a submission this week to the ECJ on behalf of its members who use the services for their patients.
The submission, signed by a group of Irish doctors, includes the case of a woman who needed an operation to treat a rare, life-threatening disease, which was done through a proxy.
The woman’s GP had been using the site for the same purpose but had found that the patient had a higher risk of having a blood clot in her heart.
The doctor was told by the patient that if she were to go to a hospital, she would need to use a proxy and that her proxy would be charged for the service.
The patient was advised that the doctor would not be charged by the proxy service, and that she would have to pay the bill.
The case was brought to the attention of the Irish Department of Health in December 2016 and the FAIs members called for the ECJC to intervene.
The ECJC, in its ruling in June this year, said that the practice of using a proxy was legal and should be recognised by all health professionals in the European Union.
But the FAis members believe that the ECIJ should intervene on their behalf.
“This case has raised a number of important issues, and the EU is rightly aware that the use by Irish health professionals of the medical proxy site may be illegal,” said FAI President Pat Kelly.
“In response to the court’s ruling in Ireland, the European Medicines Agency has proposed to apply for permission to intervene on behalf in Ireland of the FAi, and to take legal action against those who are in breach of this ruling.”
The FAIs submission to ECJ also says that the services should be regulated to ensure that patients are treated fairly and fairly treated.
The European Medicine Agency said it would respond to the FAIS submission on Tuesday.
“The European Commission has consistently supported the use and regulation of medical proxy services, and we are in regular contact with the FAE and FAI members as they are in the process of complying with the Court’s ruling,” said an ECJ spokesperson.