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Talks to salvage health agreement continue

The Manx Government is continuing its battle to try and keep the Reciprocal Health Agreement alive, by meeting with a senior health official from the United Kingdom.

The MP for Thurrock Andrew Mackinlay raised the matter with Andy Burnham at the UK Department of Health, and it's now been agreed that Mr Burnham will meet with the Isle of Man's Health Minister, Eddie Teare.

John Moss has more (text, below, from radio report):

This isn't so much a light at the end of the tunnel as a faint gleam.

Mr Teare believes there is little hope for a change of mind from the UK, but pressure has been mounting, and with the active intervention of Mr Mackinlay and several questions in the UK Parliament, further discussions with the UK Department of Health are to take place.

Mr Teare has circulated all MHks with the news.

Former Isle of Man Health Minister Steve Rodan says he is glad there has not been "a simple acceptance that the end of the agreement is a fait accompli".

He trusts a robust case will be made to the United Kingdom on behalf of the Manx people and those from the UK who visit us. He says Mr MacKinlay should be thanked publicly for the efforts he has put in to keep the issue alive, adding a number of people have contacted him to say they are lobbying UK MPs personally through friends and relatives.

Meanwhile, a petition on the 10 Downing Street site has now passed 5,000 names.

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