Cross-border platform “COSANTÉ” helps break down barriers to healthcare access
Patients from Wallonia, Lorraine and Luxembourg benefit from Organised Zones of Access to Cross-border Healthcare that guarantee medical attention and health insurance coverage across the region.
" We are helping to improve each citizen’s quality of life by improving access to healthcare services. "
Since 2008, close to half a million patients have benefitted directly from the various initiatives implemented through the COSANTÉ project, including the consolidation of the Arlon-Longwy and Ardennes Organised Zones of Access; cross-border service agreements between ambulance and mobile emergency intensive care providers (Service mobile d’urgence et de réanimation, SMUR); a cross-border agreement on cardiac electrophysiology testing; and a major study on the different legal frameworks governing access to medication in Belgium, France and Luxembourg.
An integrated Internet portal allows prospective patients to identify which establishments offer the treatment they require, and provides information on patients’ rights, framework agreements, access to emergency services, medication and treatment, health benefits, and services for elderly and handicapped citizens. Since their launch in 2011, the updated COSANTÉ websites have recorded over 10 000 hits.
COSANTÉ is run by the Wallonia/Lorraine/Luxembourg Cross-border Health Observatory, a European Economic Interest Grouping also known as LUXLORSAN, which serves an area of close to 25 000 km2 and a total population of over 2.5 million inhabitants.
Regional cooperation can save lives
Just as a resident of Wallonia (Belgium), Lorraine (France) or Luxembourg can now obtain medical treatment across the border under the same conditions as he or she would at home, health service providers are also free to operate throughout the region. This means that if someone in Aubange (Belgium), near the Walloon-French-Luxemburgish border, has a heart attack and the closest ambulance at that moment is across the border in Mont-Saint-Martin (France), it can speed the victim to the nearest hospital for emergency treatment, avoiding life-threatening delays.
Cross-border access to healthcare involves not only geographical considerations of proximity and availability, but also the issue of quality – where a productive approach has been to leverage synergies between services on either side of the border and to share best practices – as well as financial aspects: providing seamless cross-border health insurance coverage and benefiting from economies of scale.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for “COSANTÉ” is EUR 1 046 600, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 523 300 from the “INTERREG IV Grande Région” Operational Programme for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.