Magazine article European Social Policy

Health : Liberals Push Patients' Rights Charter

Magazine article European Social Policy

Health : Liberals Push Patients' Rights Charter

Article excerpt

The Group of Liberals in the European Parliament feels that the European Commission's future proposals on cross-border health services, expected in 2007, should also guarantee the rights of European citizens. The ALDE Group has therefore launched anainitiative for a European patient rights charter, which will form an integral part of the initiatives for patient mobility and the refunding of health care in the EU, the subject of a public consultation launched by the European Commission, which will remain open until 31 January 2007.

An oral question on the subject will be addressed to the Commission during the next parliamentary session in Strasbourg in mid-November. The Commission will be questioned on how it intends to guarantee patient rights between member states, including the right to submit complaints and to obtain financial compensation. It will also be asked how it plans to differentiate between patients and health service consumers (plastic surgery, for example) and whether it intends to set up a European database to provide information for the patients.

Before asking these questions, the Liberals will try to unite as many MEPs as possible from all political groups to define the contents of the charter within the framework of a joint draft resolution.

In concrete terms, Europeans are "exposed to vast differences between member states in terms of the quality and safety of health care," explainedaEP observer Dr Antonia Parvanova (NMSII, Bulgaria). …

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