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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

New EU rules on cross-border healthcare “strike the right balance”, says Green MEP

Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, has welcomed the European Parliament’s adoption of a final legislative compromise with the European Council on new EU rules governing access and rights to cross-border healthcare [1].

Speaking after yesterday’s vote, Jean, who sits on the Employment and Social Affairs committee, said: “This vote strikes the right balance between clarifying patients’ rights to cross-border healthcare when they choose care abroad and safeguarding the provision of quality health services at national level.

“Patients will have the right to be reimbursed for certain  hospital treatment received in other member states, but national authorities can introduce a system of prior authorisation, which would make clear what patients can expect to have paid and what they can’t. This would ensure healthcare managers are given advance warning of any exceptional costs, while protecting against the impact of market forces.

“Importantly, this directive clarifies what to do if things go wrong; what happens if you find you need follow-up care and will ensure countries provide information about their systems so you can make an informed choice. It provides some welcome clarity in what was a confusing field [2]. But we are clear in the European Parliament that what really matters most is for every country to have its own high-quality healthcare system”


Notes to Editors:

[1] The vote represented a legislative vote on recommendations from Parliament to Council in second reading.

[2] Two different sets of legal rules currently apply: Regulation No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems and the rules established over the years by the case law of the Court of Justice.