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Cross-border health care reimbursement to speed up

brussels bureau

Cross-border health care reimbursement to speed up


The reimbursement of costs for patients seeking health care in EU states other than their own is set to take a clear step forward. Rules laid out in a directive coming up for adoption this December will give Europeans the right to get service elsewhere, at their national health system’s expense. It should become faster to get reimbursed.

Cross-border treatment today accounts for one percent of the total of health care expenses in the EU. Doctor Michael Jacobs is a heart surgeon based in Maastricht, the Netherlands. He also travels to Aachen, in Germany, to operate. He says that the new rules on mobility will remove some of the uncertainty health mobility currently involves.

Joseph Caruana is a Maltese patient who had surgery done in Maastricht for an aortic aneurism. The Maltese government has rejected his request for reimbursement of the 40,000 euro bill. Hospital and non-hospital care to which the patient would be entitled in his or her own country can also be sought elsewhere in the EU, with the expectation of reimbursement.

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