NEW rules have come into force on patients' rights to access treatment across EU borders and be reimbursed for it.
The Cross-Border Healthcare regulations are intended to ensure patients travelling to another EU country for medical care will enjoy equal treatment with the citizens of the country in which they are treated.
If that person is entitled to that healthcare at home, then they will be reimbursed by their home country, with the amount being equal to the cost of that treatment at home.
In some cases, people may need to seek authorisation before travelling for treatment, in particular if the treatment requires an overnight stay at an hospital or highly specialised and cost-intensive healthcare.
Cross-border healthcare is not that common in the EU as patients prefer to receive healthcare in their own country.
That is why the demand for cross-border healthcare represents only around 1% of public spending on healthcare, which is currently around €10 billion, and this estimate includes cross-border healthcare which patients had not planned in advance such as emergency care for tourists.
Citizens needing care, including emergency care, when temporarily abroad will continue to benefit from the existing regulations and the European Health Insurance Card, and be provided with the care they need.
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