Extracts from the press conference by Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the EC in charge of Health, on the EC's proposal for directive on patients' rights in cross-border healthcare

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-058114   Duration: 10:14:28  Lieu:
End production: 02/07/2008   First transmission: 02/07/2008
Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the EC in charge of Health, gave a press conference on a proposal for a directive that aims at clarifying and promoting the right of patients to gain access to healthcare in another EU country. It should ensure, at the same time, high quality and safe cross border healthcare throughout Europe. On this basis, patients will be able to make an informed choice, in full confidence about the reimbursement that they are entitled to and about safety and quality of the care that they will receive. Despite several clear European Court of Justice rulings confirming that the EU Treaty gives individual patients the right to seek healthcare in other Member States and be reimbursed at home, uncertainty remains over how to apply the principles of this jurisprudence more generally. With this proposal the Commission aims to provide legal certainty on this issue. The EC aims as well to better sharing of expertise, innovation and information. The proposed Directive provides a solid basis to unlock the huge potential for European cooperation to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all EU health systems.

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10:11:04 Title 00:00:04
10:11:09 Exterior view of the European Commission building 00:00:06
10:11:15 General view of the press conference room 00:00:07
10:11:22 Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the EC in charge of Health, saying (in ENGLISH) that the legislation that the Commission proposes pursues three main objectives: first, to help citizens use their rights to gain access to health care in another EU country, if this would be the best solution for them. Second, to ensure that all patients will receive high quality and save cross-border health care through Europe. And finally, to foster European cooperation between health care systems. 00:00:32
10:11:54 Cutaway 00:00:07
10:12:01 Androulla Vassiliou saying (in ENGLISH) that addressing this issue does not mean promoting the mobility of patients as such. In any case, only a small proportion of patients will decide to travel to another Member State to receive health care. What it does mean is ensuring clear rights and rules for those individuals who need to travel for health care. This is an important initiative for patients rights. The proposal that they adopted today is a clear framework which enable patients to make an informed choice in full confidence on the reimbursement that they are entitled to. 00:00:41
10:12:42 Cutaway 00:00:06
10:12:48 Androulla Vassiliou saying (in ENGLISH) that in practice, this means that as long as a treatment is covered under a national health system, patients will be able to receive that treatment in another Member State. They will be reimbursed at home up to the level for the same or similar treatment in their national health system. They will not need prior authorisation to seek treatment abroad. 00:00:29
10:13:17 Cutaway 00:00:05
10:13:22 Androulla Vassiliou saying (in ENGLISH) that they don't believe there will be such a big search for cross-border health care, if there is and if a country feels that has to protect its social system and puts a prior authorisation safeguard, then they have to inform Europe about it saying why they have done so, and if they believe that they are reasonable, then they will accept. 00:00:32
10:13:54 Cutaway 00:00:06
10:14:00 Androulla Vassiliou saying (in ENGLISH) that they are not going to harmonise the systems, they are asking Member States to create a system that guarantees the quality and safety of their system. Once they do that, they don't care if it is system A or system B. It's up to the Member States to decide, once they know there are systems compensating for the errors done in the course of health care. 00:00:28
10:14:28 Cutaways press conference room (2 shots) 00:00:11
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