* Author Topic: DoH Consultation on patient mobility in the EU  (Read 976 times)

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Offline Anthony Reid

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Department of Health

08/10/2008 10:19
   
Department of Health (National)   

(DH) Consultation on patient mobility in the EU
   

A consultation that will help formulate the UK's negotiating position to ensure the right legislative framework is developed around the new Patient Mobility EU Directive was launched today.

The proposed Directive seeks to codify existing European case law to make clear the rules that will apply when EU nationals want to receive treatment in a Member State which is not their 'home' country.

The eight week consultation will seek the views of healthcare professionals, patient groups, health organisations and the public on a number of issues, including:

* ensuring that these proposals do not adversely affect the NHS' ability to plan and manage services - including how gatekeeping arrangements can ensure patients can only access services to which they are entitled to in the NHS;

* the information patients need to make an informed decision on receiving treatment in another EU Member State;

* the potential volume of patients who may seek cross-border health care and the types of treatments that may be sought; and

* proposed measures for EU cooperation on healthcare.

The consultation will close on 3 December. The draft Directive is due to be discussed at the Council of EU Health Ministers in Brussels on 15 and 16 December.

Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said:

"We want to ensure that, where UK patients choose to travel abroad for care, the NHS retains the ability to decide what care it will fund. Equally, anyone from other Member States travelling to the UK specifically for healthcare will have to pay the full NHS cost of treatment upfront.

"The priority for the vast majority of NHS patients is high quality healthcare received close to their homes, and we remain committed to providing this."

Notes to editors

1. The consultation can be found at http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Consultations/index.htm

2. Patients have a right to travel to other EU countries for healthcare, subject to certain conditions, under existing European Court of Justice case law. The Directive aims to codify this case law. The entitlement derived from the case law is in addition to long-standing EU rules (Regulation 1408/71) which allow:

* UK citizens who go on a temporary visit to another EEA country to get state-provided healthcare that becomes necessary during a visit, paid for by the UK, via the European Insurance Card (EHIC)

* UK citizens to go to another EEA country for planned public sector treatment provided they have prior approval from a local commissioner

* More information is available at

COI ref 166137P

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