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CPME welcomes adoption of Cross-Border Healthcare Directive


20 Jan 2011


EU Priorities 2020
Health & Consumers

European Doctors welcome the 2nd reading approval of the Directive for the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare by the European Parliament today which is now only awaiting its formal adoption by the Council of Ministers. This legislation presents a crucial step in codifying and clarifying patients’ rights by addressing the issues of reimbursement of cross-border healthcare, the restrictions to the need for its prior authorisation, the role of eHealth tools and Health Technology Assessment as well as options for patients affected by rare diseases. 

CPME welcomes that provisions on eHealth are included in the final Directive which commit to confidential treatment of data by drawing on the European Union’s data protection framework. While it is to be regretted that the provision foresees only a voluntary network of competent authorities, CPME hopes that this cooperation will succeed in developing specific mechanisms to ensure the secure transfer of patient data among interoperable electronic systems in order the safeguard the continuity of care and patient safety.

It is encouraging that the final Directive reinforces the standing of evidence-based medicine and patient safety by allowing that treatment can be denied prior authorisation if it is provided by a healthcare provider who raises serious safety and quality concerns.

CPME welcomes the establishment of National Contact Points and the commitment to liaising with healthcare professionals. However, CPME would like to have seen provisions ensuring that equal access to information is ensured for all vulnerable patient groups.

CPME also appreciates the provision on the creation of a health technology assessment network. However, it is lamentable that the evaluation of the effects of medical technology in health care focuses on the economic angle, but leaves out the important aspects of ethical dimensions. As a final remark, it is disappointing that the involvement of stakeholders such as healthcare professionals in the development of implementing measures has not been provided for in a more structured way. It is hoped that the commitment to hold “appropriate stakeholder consultations” will be implemented meaningfully.

The CPME President, Dr Konstanty Radziwill welcomed today’s vote and stated that: “the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive provides the first explicit EU legislation to facilitate the process for patients in Europe to receive healthcare outside their home Member State and will hopefully see consequent development that works towards ensuring high quality healthcare across the EU.”

For more information, please contact:

Birgit BEGER
CPME Secretary General
Tel.: +32 2 732 72 02
Fax: +32 2 732 73 44

For more information about CPME, consult our website:



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