Patients are given new pan-European right to treatment

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 29 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6535
  1. Rory Watson
  1. 1Brussels

Citizens of European Union countries now have the guaranteed legal right to go to another EU country for medical treatment and to be reimbursed for some of the costs involved. The legislation, which came into force on 25 October, clarifies patients’ rights that had been confirmed in a series of rulings by the European Court of Justice, the EU’s highest legal authority.

While the right already existed, it applied only to treatment abroad that had been authorised by the patient’s domestic healthcare provider and to unforeseen medical treatment. There was no guarantee that the cost of hospital care would be met.

The …

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