Intended for healthcare professionals


EU strengthens requirement for patients to get prior approval before being treated abroad

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 03 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1400
  1. Rory Watson
  1. 1Brussels

    The possibility of patients travelling to another European Union country to receive hospital treatment and being reimbursed for the costs involved has moved a step closer after a European parliamentary committee adopted a series of amendments to the draft legislation.

    The changes, which must still be approved by the full parliament and EU governments, are designed to clarify the original text drafted by the European Commission.

    They strengthen the need for patients to receive specific prior authorisation from their health authority if the treatment is to be reimbursed by the home country’s social security system.

    After several legal rulings, EU citizens now have the right to go abroad for treatment at their own governments’ expense, and the new legislation is …

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