Magazine article European Social Policy

Cross-Border Health Care : Cor's Pes Group Opposed to Current Directive

Magazine article European Social Policy

Cross-Border Health Care : Cor's Pes Group Opposed to Current Directive

Article excerpt

The PES group in the Committee of the Regions (CoR) is not satisfied with the directive on the application of patients' rights in cross-border health care, adopted in first reading by the European Parliament's plenary, on 23 April. At a seminar entitled Cross-border cooperation on health services', held on 22 May in Palma de Mallorca, representatives of the group expressed their hope that the new Parliament to be formed after the June European elections will allow for some of the directive's elements to be modified in second reading, scheduled for September or October this year.

The directive aims to create a European framework allowing patients access to safe and high-quality health care in another member state and to establish cooperation mechanisms while maintaining national competencies in the actual organisation and delivery of health care.

In terms of non-hospital care, the directive will allow patients to be reimbursed, without prior authorisation, for care received in another member state. However, for hospital care, a system of prior authorisation will be put into place (except in cases of emergency, treatments for rare diseases or if there are long waiting lists in the patient's member state of origin). Patients will be reimbursed up to the amount they would have paid in their own country. Patients with rare diseases will have the right to be reimbursed even if the treatment received does not exist in their country's legislation. A European health ombudsman will be set up to take care of patients' complaints. …

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