On the 4th of March 2016 our partner in Italy, the Active Citizenship Network (ACN) is hosting a European conference and webinar in Rome on the patients’ rights in the light of the Cross Border Health Directive, as part of the U-Impact project.
Patients may want to access cross-border health services for various reasons: when a particular treatment is not available in their home country, when it is better offered elsewhere, or, as in the case of many border areas, when the nearest available healthcare centre is located in another Member State. Currently, cross-border healthcare accounts for approximately 1% of the overall EU public health spending – around €10 billion per year.
The Directive 2011/24/EU on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare has been regarded by many as a major achievement of the ‘patient empowerment’ policy promoted by patient organizations as well as European institutions, granting European citizens the right to access healthcare services in a different member state. Designed to address the obstacles deriving from the diversity of healthcare systems, such as the reimbursement rules and the delivery of health-care services, this Directive has established a general legal framework aimed at ensuring the sustainability of national health systems while protecting patients’ right to seek treatment outside their home country.
Yet the citizens’ awareness about their right to healthcare in another EU country remains low. According to a report published by the European Commission in September 2015 less than two in 10 citizens feel they are informed about their rights in this area, and only one in 10 are aware of the sp-called National Contact Points (NCPs) – offices set up under the Directive to provide information to patients on their rights and on quality and safety issues.
This Conference will bring together experts, institutions, civic and patients’ organisations to debate this topic and see how to better communicate on patients’ rights all around Europe.
Find more information about this Conference at: http://www.activecitizenship.net/civic-activism/projects/199-improving-patients-rights-in-the-age-of-the-cross-border-healthcare-directive.html