Patients need to be made aware of the possibilities of cross-border healthcare in EU Member States, according to a study commissioned by the EC on the transposition of the Cross-border Care Directive. “The implementation could benefit from more targeted and regular publicity and communication activities”, the study writes. “Evidence indicates that demand for cross-border healthcare would be larger should the patients be made aware of the possibilities offered.”
The report recommends communicating citizens’ rights, and disseminating information on the steps involved in individual procedure and each aspect of administration. The study advises improving the information available on Member State’s National Contact Points, and also says patient organisations should be involved.
The study also recommends further research, specifically to address barriers to the implementation of the cross-border healthcare directive.
The report was published by the EC on 28 May. The EU Directive is at an early stage of implementation, the researchers found, nevertheless cross-border healthcare is growing at a fast pace.
The study evaluated cross-border healthcare in the 28 Member States, focussing on three areas:
- Reimbursement of cross-border healthcare;
- Quality and safety of cross-border healthcare;
- Undue delay.
The deadline for transposition the Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare into into Member States legislation was 25 October 2013.