eHealth : Digital health and care

Electronic cross-border health services

The eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure (eHDSI) is an infrastructure ensuring the continuity of care for European citizens while they are travelling abroad in the EU. This gives EU countries the possibility to exchange health data in a secure, efficient and interoperable way. Citizens can easily recognise the availability of the services under the brand “MyHealth @ EU”.

The following 2 electronic cross-border health services are currently being introduced in all EU countries:

  • ePrescription and eDispensation (eHealth Network guidelines on ePrescription) allows EU citizens to obtain their medication in a pharmacy located in another EU country, thanks to the online transfer of their electronic prescription from their country of residence where they are affiliated, to their country of travel.
  • Patient Summaries (eHealth Network guidelines on Patient Summary, Release notes) provide information on important health related aspects such as allergies, current medication, previous illness, surgeries, etc. It is part of a larger collection of health data called an electronic Health Record. The digital Patient Summary is meant to provide doctors with essential information in their own language concerning the patient, when the patient comes from another EU country and there may be a linguistic barrier.
    In the long term, medical images, lab results and hospital discharge reports will also be available across the EU, with the full health record to follow later on. The exchange of ePrescriptions and Patient Summaries is open to all the EU countries.

By 2025, both services will be gradually implemented in 25 EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Slovakia, Latvia, and Bulgaria.

Which services are available in which countries?

Doctors from the countries below: can access health data of citizens coming from:
Croatia Czech Republic (Sept. 2019), Malta (Feb. 2020)  and Portugal (Feb. 2020)
Luxembourg Czech Republic (Jun. 2019), Malta (Dec. 2019)
Malta Portugal (Feb. 2020), Croatia (17 Dec. 2020)
Portugal (SNS and SPMS websites) Malta (Jan. 2020), Croatia (17 Dec. 2020)
Czech Republic Croatia (21 Dec. 2020)

Health data of citizens from the countries below: can be consulted by doctors from the countries below, using the Patient Summary:
Czech Republic Luxembourg (Jun. 2019), Croatia (Sept. 2019)
Malta Luxembourg (Dec. 2019), Portugal (Jan. 2020), Croatia (Feb. 2020)
Portugal Malta (21 Feb. 2020) , Croatia (Feb. 2020) and Luxembourg (March 2020)
Croatia Malta (17 Dec. 2020), Portugal (17 Dec. 2020), Czech Republic (21 Dec. 2020)

ePrescriptions of citizens from countries below: can be retrieved in pharmacies in:
Croatia Finland (August 2020), Portugal (August 2020)
Estonia Finland (June 2020), Croatia (August 2020)
Finland Estonia (January 2019),  Croatia (September 2019), Portugal (August 2020)
Portugal (SNS and SPMS websites) Estonia (June 2020), Finland (August 2020), Croatia (August 2020)

Pharmacists of countries below: can dispense ePrescriptions presented by citizens from:
Croatia Finland (September 2019), Estonia (August 2020), Portugal (August 2020)
Estonia Finland (January 2019), Croatia (March 2020), Portugal (June 2020)
Finland Estonia (June 2020), Portugal (August 2020), Croatia (August 2020)
Portugal Finland (August 2020), Croatia (August 2020)

Governance and financing

The eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure (eHDSI) facilitates the cross-border exchange of health data including patient summaries and e-prescription. Through 'core services', the European Commission is providing a common ICT infrastructure and crosscutting services (terminology, interoperability etc.) to EU countries. They can then set up 'generic services' to connect national eHealth systems through 'National Contact Points for eHealth (NCPeH)', with financial assistance from the Connecting Europe Facility Telecom Programme (2015-2020).

The eHealth DSI EU countries Expert Group (eHMSEG) is composed of managers responsible for implementing the NCPeH, and nominated by the participating countries. Members participate in the deployment and operation of eHealth cross border infrastructure and are responsible for setting up eHealth National Contact Points.

The eHealth Operational Management Board (eHOMB) is composed of representatives of internal services of the European Commission and the eHMSEG Chairs. It oversees the provision of services, and takes tactical and operational decisions on the eHDSI.

Communication materials

Related information: