Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

EU Medical Card 'May Lead to Health Tourism'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

EU Medical Card 'May Lead to Health Tourism'

Article excerpt

Byline: JO REVILL

EVERYONE in the EU may be issued with an electronic card to enable them to get health care when abroad under plans outlined today.

But a new European-wide card will raise fears that it could encourage more "health tourism" with people shopping around for the best treatment.

The card will contain some personal details, including country of residence, and may also lead to concerns that the EU is planning to introduce an ID card through the back door.

The European Commission wants the card to replace the present E111 form in Britain.

At the moment Britons have to fill in the E111 and have it stamped at the post office before they become eligible for free treatment in another EU country.

Unlike the E111, the card will be valid indefinitely. It guarantees hospitals and doctors abroad that costs of treating visitors will be met by the issuing authority.

The Commission wants to bring in the new health card by 2005 and says the scheme would make it easier for people to work across EU borders. …

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