Health care without barriers (long version)17 September 2009

Health care without barriers (long version)

Short version

The European Commission has adopted an important new proposal for a Directive on patient's rights in cross border healthcare. The initiative, part of a package of measures under the Renewed Social agenda, seeks to clarify how patients can exercise their rights to healthcare cross-border - that is, in other Member States - and aims to ensure high quality care when they do so. It also sets out responsibilities for Member States and healthcare providers, and promotes co-operation between health systems to provide better access to specialised care.
Watch the video to find out more.

Access to cross-border health care in the EU17 September 2009

Access to cross-border health care in the EU

The TV report "Access to cross-border healthcare in the EU" demonstrates how crucially important patient mobility can be. It shows the example of a French patient seeking urgent treatment for Gorham disease in Spain, where a specialist of this disease can treat him in a shorter timeframe than in his home country. It also shows European Court judgements on the cross-border movement of patients for two cases:

- a British national having to wait for one year to have hip surgery in the UK. Despite the refusal of the British health authorities, she travelled to France where her operation could be provided sooner.

- a Luxembourg national, who needed a new pair of eyeglasses. With his practitioner’s prescription from Luxembourg, he went to Arlon in Belgium to purchase the glasses.

In both cases, reimbursement of medical expenses was refused at first, a situation that was amended through rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Communities.