24 October 2016, Brussels: Conference on cross-border healthcare Directive “Towards amplified awareness of EU rights to cross-border care” :


The AEBR Antenna in Brussels at the Office of Extremadura represented the AEBR, which was invited very especially by DG Santé in order to participate in a review by manyfold stakeholders of the implementation of the Directive on CB Health and Patients‘ Rights. Particular aim of this Conference was to provide better information to patients, enhance the coordination of National Contact Points (NCP), strengthen the cooperation with patients‘ organizations, health services providers and insurance companies.

The Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis (Health and Food Safety) opened the conference and stressed the importance to collaborate with border regions. The Commission is very much willing to identify main obstacles, best practices and to propose recommendations for a better implementation of the Directive.

Mr John Bovis (President of Health First Europe) made a keynote speech on CB Health. Prof. Gabriella Berki (University of Szeged) presented the relationship between CB Healthcare Directive and the Social Security Regulation). Several Member States also presented their experiences on the implementation of NCPs (BE, DE, DK, LT, LV, FI, SI, PL, UK, SE, CY, NL, AT, HR, IT, EE, GR, HU), as well as the special case of the BENELUX. Regarding the stakeholders‘ perspective, Mr. Willy Palm (European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies) moderated a round session including the points of view of the patients (European Patients‘ Forum), healthcare providers (Standing Committee of European Doctors) and the insurers (International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies/Health Insurance Funds).

It followed an exchange of views on how to improve the status quo, where Mr César Morcillo on behalf of the AEBR reminded to take into account border citizens using health facilities across the border, and not only just those who travel to other countries to receive medical care. He also stressed that NCP are usually at the ministries in the capitals, but the issues are in the regions. Some NCPs could be located in border regions. He also mentioned some interesting examples of CB Healthcare.

Other topics under discussion were digital healthcare and the exchange of health data, telemedicine and other eHealth related issues.

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