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Health sector competition linked with patients rights

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Health sector competition linked with patients rights

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How to reconcile the offering of health services with the EU’s principle of free circulation in spite of health’s exclusion from the so-called Bolkestein directive. The European Commission is to meet next week to work on clarification of certain contradictions.

A consumer affairs spokesman in Brussels elaborated: “It has been reconfirmed several times in court decisions that patients have rights but this creates a whole series of practical questions on how these rights are to be used, and what the implications are for the health services.”

Under what conditions will a country pay for care provided to its own citizen in another country? Patients carrying their social protection around with them would clearly create greater competition between systems. The Member States and Parliament have asked the Commission to study specific mechanisms for dealing with the health sector.