European Parliament wants to help patients get treated abroad

The European Commission should create national guidelines to help patients compare the price of health treatment abroad to costs within their own country, the European Parliament said in February, by backing a non-binding report on implementing the Union’s Cross-Border Health Care Directive — designed to help patients access care in other countries — by 512 votes in favor to 32 against, with 62 abstentions.

Amid concerns that the 2011 law has failed to achieve its goals, Members of the Parliament presented a range of suggestions to improve its effectiveness.

That includes encouraging capitals to allow reimbursement for telemedicine, since parliamentarians said the application of the directive has led to a “certain lack of clarity” on health services provided remotely, according to the draft report.

Parliament said the Commission should “draw up an action plan to systematically address excessively high medicine prices and the great disparities in them” between European Union countries.

It also calls for the Commission to “negotiate a solid agreement with post-Brexit United Kingdom on health, devoting specific attention to cross-border rights for patients” and the European Reference Networks for rare diseases.