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European Board of Intensive Care Medicine

Patients' rights in cross-border healthcare

Proposal for a directive on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare

The proposal for a directive on patients’ right, launched by the Commission in 2008, aims to become a framework for cross-border healthcare around Europe ensure free movement of health services and a high level of health protection, and it is structured around 3 main areas:
-    The creation of common principles in all EU health systems,
-    A specific framework for cross-border healthcare,
-    European cooperation on healthcare.
In other words, this directive aims to remove all the obstacles an European citizen could face when trying to seek care in a Member State other than his home country, by creating clear and harmonized rules about reimbursement for healthcare provided in other Member States and to ensure that the necessary requirements for high-quality, safe and efficient healthcare are ensured for cross-border care, by giving responsibility for the quality of Health Care to the Member States.

Update 03 March 2011

On 19 January 2011 the European Parliament voted the EU Cross-border Healthcare Directive.
After EP adoption, it needed to be formally adopted by the Council. At its meeting on 28 February, the Council adopted the healthcare directive for both intra-European and “cross-border” applications, meaning the legislation designed to strengthen patients’ rights substantially, will shortly come into force. The basic principle enshrines that patients are entitled to the same amount of reimbursement in the country that provides healthcare as they would receive in their native country.

European Patients Verdict on cross border healthcare directive.

Update 18 July 2011

The proposal for a directive on patients’ right was launched by the Commission in 2008. On 19 January 2011 the European Parliament voted the EU Cross-border Healthcare Directive and it was then formally adopted by the Council on 28 February 2011.

This EU law clarifies access to healthcare in another EU country – and rules on reimbursement.

This is the EU Directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare (Directive n°2011/24/EU) which EU governments have until 25th October 2013 to transpose into national law.

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