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Cross-border health care collaboration in the European Union: placing the patient in the centre.

McKee M, Busse R, Baeten R, Glinos I
Eurohealth 19(4): 3-4




Since 1971, well-functioning arrangements have been in place within the European Union to enable the vast majority of patients who either need care when abroad, or have a good reason to go abroad for care, to receive it. There are also numerous specific arrangements in place, such as those linking providers in border areas or enabling those living in small countries to obtain specialist care abroad. There were, however, certain outstanding issues, not all of which were addressed in the 2011 Directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border health care. We argue that while much publicity has been devoted to what has, often wrongly, been presented as ways in which European Cross-Border Care legislation might open up competitive markets, the real issues are much more practical, involving better understanding of what Cross-Border Care means for actual patients.

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