Opinion Factsheet 

Cross-border health care

Opinion Number: CDR 4597/2019
Commission: NAT
Status: Adopted
Date: 14/10/2020
The opinion on the implementation of cross border healthcare (CBHC) will look into legal, administrative, financial and other barriers affecting adversely the rights of European patients traveling abroad to receive treatment. Not only CBHC gives the patient freedom of choice in terms of practice, accessibility and appropriate care, it also promotes free movement of people, goods and services. Moreover, it overcomes the gaps in availability of healthcare services in some regions.

Likewise, the opinion will explore the regional dimension of healthcare provision and will specifically address the challenges faced by border regions, accounting for 40% of EU's territory where more than 1 out 3 Europeans.

Finally, the opinion will provide the European Commission with a local and regional assessment of the effects of the Directive and will be complemented by the results of the RegHub consultation. As such it can be construed as part of the "Better Regulation" process and is set to contribute to raising awareness about the Directive and to improve its implementation by removing outstanding barriers and guaranteeing respect for patients' rights to access safe and high quality care services anywhere within the Union.



Fit for Future technical meeting: presentation of the 3rd implementation report by DG SANTE

At the invitation of the Fit for Future Platform, the DG SANTE presented its implementation report and highlighted how the eight suggestions were taken on board in the process of reviewing the Directive's fitness.

15 Jun

Third implementation report published

On 12 May, the European Commission published its triennial implementation report, assessing the effectiveness, efficiency, coherance, relevance and EU added value of the Directive a decade after its adoption.

This evaluation is part of the Commission’s regulatory fitness and performance programme and the opinion of the Fit for Future platform adopted on 10 December 2021 contributed to this exercise.

The report confirmed that the access to healthcare abroad remains marred by administrative and financial barriers. The general awareness of the EU population remains low and the flows of patients largely stable.

Some 31 actions under 11 objecitves are proposed to remedy the situation and to streamline the implementation across the Member States. A large cross-border healthcare conference - for among others regional authorities and stakeholders - is announced for 2023.

12 May

Fit for Future Platform: report on cross-border health care adopted

Running throughout 2021, the Platform has reviewed a number of EU acts of law, including the Directive on the rights of patients in cross-border healthcare cooperation. Drawing on the opinion and its accompanying RegHub report, the F4F report features several political and practical recommendations. Focusing on making Directive more user-friendly and improving access to care for EU citizens, the F4F report is heavily influenced by the outlook opinion.

10 Dec
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