Also known as the Directive 2011/24/EU, EU Cross-border Healthcare Directive clarifies patients’ rights regarding cross-border healthcare in EU member states. It allows for receiving planned medical treatment abroad, and be reimbursed for it.

This legislation allows patients with health insurance in any EU country to be treated at any hospital within the EU. As a result, the patient obtains several advantages: high-quality medical treatments in a specialised hospital in Europe, no waiting lists, and the possibility of combining treatment and holiday.

Patients must pay for treatment up-front and then wait to be reimbursed for receiving care abroad, up to the amount the treatment would have cost under their national health insurance. It covers both treatment given in state-run hospitals and private service providers.

The Directive does not cover travel and accommodation expenses. If the treatment is more expensive than in the home country, patients will have to cover the additional costs. If the treatment was cheaper than under the NHS, patients will not be able to profit from it and ask for the difference.

Patients must be unable to get the same treatment in their home country in a medically justifiable period for entitlement to this directive. Prior authorisation may be required in some cases. This will confirm whether you are entitled to the treatment and the level of reimbursement you can expect.

Information about EU Cross-border Healthcare Directive

The Directive mandates that each country must to have National Contact Points (NCPs), were established in each country to help patients apply for reimbursement. In most countries, there is a system of prior authorization where patients must apply before treatment to find out whether they will be reimbursed.

National health authorities can refuse authorisation if the treatment or the healthcare provider in question, could present a risk for the patient. If the healthcare can be provided at home within a medically justifiable time limit, then authorisation can also be refused. Patients have the right to request a review of any administrative decision on cross-border healthcare for their individual case.

IMED Hospitals Group in Spain makes healthcare abroad easy by explaining the EU Cross-border Healthcare Directive to patients in order to clarify how to get medical treatment in Spain. IMED International Patient Department treats thousands of international patients each year, and they handle the management of all documentation to not have to worry about anything. Any question?

information about crossborder healthcare