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Published on 3 July 2008

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EC present cross-border care proposal

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As part of the renewed social agenda, the European Commission today adopted the long-awaited proposal for a directive to facilitate the application of European patients’ rights in relation to cross-border healthcare.

The Commission also issued a communication on improving cooperation between Member States in this area.

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 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.

European Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said: “This proposal aims to clarify how patients can exercise their rights to cross-border healthcare, while at the same time providing legal certainty for Member States and healthcare providers.

“It ensures that the quality and safety of healthcare will be guaranteed throughout the Union, and promotes cooperation between health systems to provide better access to specialised care,” she added.

See Brian Edwards’ comment in HPE



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