At the end of 2019, the European Commission published its 7-year programme for investing in social and healthcare improvement. The new European Social Fund Plus is, from 2021 on, supposed to incorporate also finances for the stand-alone cross border healthcare. There are several things that are in the focus of the new body. For example, the one that attracts our attention is to make equal access to high-quality, affordable cross border healthcare. It should also encourage co-operation between countries in the area of healthcare.
Cross border healthcare interest and realization are at odds
It appears that the Directive on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare, approved by the EU Parliament in March 2011 has only partially succeeded. Reviews suggest that the number of European citizens that have used this opportunity is not significant. On the other hand, their interest to use these options is, reportedly, big.
Good example of cross border healthcare recognition are Scandinavian countries
From our experience, some specific therapy programmes aimed at the relief of rheumatic and arthritic disease conditions were successfully performed in Croatia. In addition, the patients were reimbursed for the costs by their respective national healthcare insurance systems. In particular, we are talking about Sweden but we have also had clients who were reimbursed through their health insurance in Norway or Denmark.
Get information out for the patients
We’re sharing the information concerning how each EU country treats healthcare abroad, to whom to apply and what are the options.
We, as healthcare facilitators in Croatia, have the knowledge and understanding gained by experience of the clients’ needs. As a result, the international patients can learn about the benefits that relate to very specific treatments available here. We strive to give informative facts to our clients. They get information about the steps to take to achieve in obtaining the whole package. Whenever possible, including reimbursement. We are aware that GPs or family doctors cannot necessarily recommend, directly, treatment abroad. Still, they can encourage their patients to research the possibilities for cross border healthcare.
EU countries healthcare must comply to the relevant, common standards
Of course, the responsibility and decision remains with the patients. They must gain confidence so that they can rely on the doctors or therapists in another country. In order to help establish that trust we present our cases, including references by the patients. Many are willing to share their treatment experience (through testimonials but not only that).
It is important to bear in mind that all medical workers – doctors, nurses, therapists, technicians working in the EU are subject to all relevant EU and national laws. This gives a certain assurance of the quality of treatments that is expected. However, at the end of the day, each of us should always be well informed and responsible. This goes for any health treatments undertaken at our own request, both in our own countries or as a cross border healthcare.
The source for the article: https://www.what-europe-does-for-me.eu/data/pdf/focus/focus09_en.pdf