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Cross-Border Healthcare in Europe: Improving Co-operation to Deliver a Patient-Centred System

| in scenario Antwerp, Barcelona, Berlin, Helsinki, Oslo, Sofia, Stockholm, Warsaw

Healthcare is one of the largest economic sectors in the EU and accounts for approximately 17m jobs, and is expected to come under increasing pressure as the demand for healthcare in Europe rises. The number of people aged 65 and above is estimated to double in the near future and, in recent years, the cross-border nature of health threats has increased. Consequently, the need for better implementation of the EU Directive on Cross-Border Healthcare is vital, as is the continued investigation into innovative solutions and applications of European healthcare resources.

Building on previous health programmes, the third Health Programme 2014-2020 aims to support Member States’ action to improve people’s health and reduce health inequalities, by promoting health, encouraging innovation in health, increasing the sustainability of health systems and protecting EU citizens from serious cross-border health threats. With a budget of approximately €449m, the Programme will advance the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy by fostering health as an indispensable condition for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The EU Directive on Patients’ Rights in Cross-Border Healthcare seeks to eliminate obstacles hindering patients from receiving treatment in another Member State. Rules for receiving cross-border healthcare and reimbursement of these costs are not always clear and, as such, the Directive provides more transparency and also clarifies who is responsible for quality and safety of care in cross-border settings. Following the deadline for Member States to comply with the standards and guidelines set by the Directive in October 2013; the Commission will monitor the implementation of the Directive on patients’ rights with a progress report due in 2015.

This international symposium provides a timely platform for a constructive debate on the successes and failures of the legislative implementation throughout Europe, and on how to build on these experiences to develop a patient-centred cross-border healthcare system in the years to come. 


Delegates will have an opportunity to exchange innovative approaches, engage in thought-provoking topical discussion and analyse best practices linked to cooperation between border regions in Europe and national healthcare systems. Public Policy Exchange welcomes the participation of all key partners, responsible authorities and stakeholders.

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