One of the biggest challenges of eHealth is to provide patients the adequate care they need, wherever they are. While acknowledging the fact that competence on health matters belongs to Member States, the Commission believes that coordinated action at European level has a clear added value in this field.

Over 12,3 million EU citizens live in a country different from their origin state and every year millions more make trips to other EU countries. The availability of vital information, especially for patients suffering from chronic diseases, enables them to move across borders without anxiety and to receive the most appropriate treatment whenever needed.

The CEF eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure enables medical personnel to obtain life-saving information in unplanned care situations and reduce the repetition of diagnostic procedures. When a citizen makes an unplanned visit to a healthcare provider abroad, within the European Union, the eHealth Digital Infrastructure allows the healthcare professional to have access to their patient data.

Furthermore, the electronic prescription (ePrescription) services enable the patient to receive abroad the equivalent medication treatment that they would have received in their home country. A total of 22 Member States have collaborated to set up this infrastructure that will provide seamless cross-border access to patient health information across European healthcare systems starting in 2018.

Additional information

Published: 
3 December 2012
Last update: 
25 April 2018
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