A new EU Directive clarifying the right of patients to receive healthcare in other EU member states was adopted in March 2011. Central to the European Commission's objective was the need to secure greater clarity regarding patients' rights when travelling to or residing temporarily in another member state and thus, this Directive will have the effect of extending patient choice beyond national borders. As such, patients have the right to seek in another European country any healthcare that they would have received under their own healthcare system. The Directive will reduce the uncertainty commissioners currently have on what rights patients have to receive treatment abroad and how to handle requests from patients for cross-border healthcare.
A key issue with the implementation of the EU rules will be to ensure that health commissioners have clear guidelines over which types of healthcare they allow (or do not allow) their patients to receive. This will be crucial to avoid uncertainty for both commissioners and patients, and to reduce the risk of legal challenges from patients trying to access treatments in another member state which are not routinely available under their own healthcare system. Patients have the right to be reimbursed by their commissioner up to the amount that their treatment would have cost their healthcare system to provide. However, the Directive does not give patients the rights to reimbursement towards the cost of treatment that they would not have received in their own state.
This special International Symposium provides a timely opportunity for healthcare practitioners and stakeholders across Europe to:
Analyse existing challenges to reimbursement methods and prior authorisation across EU Member States
Define necessary conditions for improved patient mobility
Improve information for patients related to cross border healthcare on request and ensure follow-up care across Member States
Equalise quality and safety standards and allow these to be regulated
Provide recommendations for cross-border collaboration and cooperation
Public Policy Exchange welcomes the participation of all key partners, responsible authorities and stakeholders. The Symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate.