Commission launches consultation on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the Directive on patient rights on cross-border healthcare. This piece of legislation aims to establish the general framework for efficient and accessible cross-border healthcare, also backed up by a reimbursement scheme by the Member State of affiliation of the healthcare obtained abroad. Most importantly for us, the Directive is also the legal basis upon which the ERNs were created as means to enhance healthcare cooperation in the EU.

This tenth anniversary marks equally the start of the evaluation of the Directive on patient rights in cross-border healthcare, carried out by the European Commission. The evaluation in itself will concern the Directive in its entirety, including the approaches implemented by Member States in practice, how effectively these are working and what barriers patients still face seeking healthcare across borders. It also aims to show how the treatment and diagnosis of patients with rare and complex diseases have benefitted from the support of the ERNs scheme.

This is an opportunity to contribute with hands-on experience and we will be welcoming all your suggestions as explained in the following newsletter of DG SANTE. If you believe that some objectives of ERNs need to be stressed further (like contribution to research, patient registries etc), please do not hesitate to raise your issues. For a reminder, Article 12 of the Directive on Cross-Border Healthcare describes the objectives of an ERN.