Cross border healthcare closer to reality

Patients will have a clear and accessible system for which to seek hospital treatment in other EU countries, said Sir Robert Atkins MEP, about the cross border healthcare report, after MEPs in the environment and public health committee recently adopted the proposals.

The report seeks to provide national clarity on when and how patients can travel abroad for treatment as, to date, the issue of a patient’s right to seek healthcare abroad has been decided by the courts. Of particular importance for Sir Robert was that the system was based on patients’ needs rather than their means. Therefore a key feature of the proposals is that patients will not need to find money up front to pay for their treatment.

Speaking after the vote, Sir Robert said:

“Patients will have a right to seek treatment across the European Union if their national health provider has let them down with a poor or delayed service. The current system has too often caused people unnecessary confusion at a particularly vulnerable time in their lives and it is essential that we provide greater clarity and legal certainty.

“This directive will enable patients to seek treatment across the EU with a greater sense of confidence and certainty. It is particularly important that this system is not exclusive and bases a patient’s right to treatment on their needs and not their means.”

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