European Commission publishes evaluation on Directive on patients' rights in cross-border healthcare


On 15 January, the European Commission published an evaluation and fitness check roadmap on the Directive on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare, which is open for feedback until 11 February.

Ten years after the adoption of the EU Directive 2011/24 on the application of patient’ rights in cross-border healthcare, the Commission launched an evaluation to assess its effectiveness. It will evaluate to what extent the Directive:

  • has facilitated the access to safe and high-quality healthcare across Member States; and
  • has promoted patient’s right and cross-country cooperation for the benefit of EU citizens, in particular for patients with rare and complex diseases.

To this end, the evaluation will be looking at the following points:

  • Member State responsibilities regarding patient treatment, reimbursement of costs for cross-border care and the use of prior authorisation for reimbursement;
  • The role of National Contact Points on Cross-Border Healthcare in providing information to patients;
  • Administrative processes related to cross-border care;
  • Cross-country recognition of prescriptions;
  • Assistance and cooperation in healthcare in border regions; and
  • Expansion of European Reference Networks and collaboration in rare disease fields.

The evaluation does not incorporate the provisions on e-health and health technology assessment (HTA), considering that they will be addressed separately with the legislative proposals for the creation of a European Health Data Space and HTA.

The publication of the evaluation and fitness check roadmap represents the first step of an evaluation process on the EU Directive on patient’ rights in cross-border healthcare. It aims to inform the Commission of any challenges faced by patients, health authorities and stakeholders on the functioning of the Directive that should be addressed.

Such an evaluation presents a unique opportunity for Avicenna Members affected by the implementation of the Directive, to highlight the obstacles faced in cross-border healthcare and present key solutions or changes that should be addressed by the European Commission.

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