In July 2008, the European Commission published a proposal for a Directive which made provision for:-
access to safe and high-quality cross-border healthcare and promoting cooperation on healthcare between member states;
· clarity about the rights of patients who seek healthcare in another member state and supplements the rights that patients already have at EU level through the legislation on the coordination of social security schemes (regulation 883/04);
* the Council’s wish to fully respect the case law of the European Court of Justice on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare while preserving member states’ rights to organise their own healthcare systems.
The new directive was transposed into local Regulation in October 2013 and contains the following provisions:
1. as a general rule, patients will be allowed to receive healthcare in another member state and be reimbursed up to the level of costs that would have been assumed by the member state of affiliation, if this healthcare had been provided in its territory;
2. Instead of reimbursing the patient, member states of affiliation may also decide to pay the healthcare provider directly;
3. For overriding reasons of general interest (such as planning requirements for ensuring permanent access to a balanced range of high-quality treatment or the wish to control costs and to avoid any waste of resources) a member state of affiliation may limit the application of the rules on reimbursement for cross-border healthcare;
4. Member states may introduce a system of prior authorisation to manage the possible outflow of patients. This is, however, limited to healthcare that is subject to planning requirements, such as hospital care (defined as care involving overnight hospital accommodation) and healthcare that involves highly specialised and cost-intensive medical infrastructure or equipment, healthcare that involves treatments presenting a particular risk for the patient or the population, or healthcare which would be provided by a healthcare provider.
Gibraltar Cross-Border National Contact Point
Ministry of Health
Block 1 Floor 6
St Bernard’s Hospital
Harbour Views Road
Phone: +350 2000 7444