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NHS patients offered Europe-wide treatment


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July 2, 2008

Brussels offers NHS patients Europe-wide treatment

David Charter, Europe Correspondent

Patients will be able to escape NHS queues by demanding treatment anywhere in the European Union without the prior approval of a doctor, under proposals to guarantee health rights unveiled today in Brussels.

The NHS would then be duty bound to refund the British cost of the procedure under the new rules for cross-border healthcare.

Today’s proposed EU directive will give patients in all 27 member states the same rights to treatment on the NHS as British patients. It also guarantees that the full cost of treatment abroad will be refunded when an NHS professional has agreed that it is necessary for the patient to go overseas.

Patients will still have to pay their own travel and accommodation costs. They will not be able to demand funding abroad for treatments not available on the NHS, such as cosmetic surgery.

The directive —— which must now be examined by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers before becoming EU law — was drawn up after several controversial European court cases on patients’ rights. One established that patients experiencing “undue delay” in their national health system had the right to fully funded treatment elsewhere in the EU.

As it stands, the proposed directive means that the NHS will have to fund a share of private treatment abroad for British patients, provided that the patient can afford the difference between the NHS cost and the private bill.

There is a safeguard for national health systems in the directive: if there is a steep increase in demand from European patients for a particular procedure in a certain country, the government can apply for an exemption from its duty to treat EU patients alongside its own.

The European Commission today said that it was not trying to harmonise healthcare across the EU but to lay down a clear framework on patients' rights to treatment abroad.

“Patients will be able to receive treatment in any member state, which will be reimbursed at home up to the level of the same or similar treatment in their health system,” said Androula Vassiliou, the Health Commissioner.

Full story, source: The Times

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gggrrmmmhh what's the catch?

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gggrrmmmhh what's the catch?

As far as I can see, none. For most Europeans all you need is your NHS insurance card and you can go for treatment wherever you want, in fact, most European countries have a standardized insurance card.

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great, lets all go to, hang on who's got the best health care in Europe?

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great, lets all go to, hang on who's got the best health care in Europe?

Sweden and Norway.

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Sweden and Norway.

Sweden lovely, i've been there, i dont think their government will like this idea do you? with their population being just 8 million, how would they cope/fund all these foreign tourist,

to be honest this health tourism is only for the rich, lets face it the poor wouldn't be able to afford the travel fare, and so would be stuck with the NHS, and government know this, yet again, the money people come out smiling,

Edited by stevewinn
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Sweden lovely, i've been there, i dont think their government will like this idea do you? with their population being just 8 million, how would they cope/fund all these foreign tourist,

to be honest this health tourism is only for the rich, lets face it the poor wouldn't be able to afford the travel fare, and so would be stuck with the NHS, and government know this, yet again, the money people come out smiling,

I don't agree, I know many people on this Island (in fact most of them) that go away for treatment to either the mainland, or if the treatment is not available there (or not available in a timely manner) to Germany, France or the Netherlands. All they have to do is flash their insurance card and every doc in those countries takes them in.

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I don't agree, I know many people on this Island (in fact most of them) that go away for treatment to either the mainland, or if the treatment is not available there (or not available in a timely manner) to Germany, France or the Netherlands. All they have to do is flash their insurance card and every doc in those countries takes them in.

Q, my point is, how are the poor going to be able to afford the travel fare to say France? if they cant afford it they cant be treated? or is the government going to pay their travel costs?

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Q, my point is, how are the poor going to be able to afford the travel fare to say France? if they cant afford it they cant be treated? or is the government going to pay their travel costs?

Are you trying to tell me that the vast majority cannot afford 55 pounds for the Eurostar to Paris? Or 77 to Brussels? Please.

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Are you trying to tell me that the vast majority cannot afford 55 pounds for the Eurostar to Paris? Or 77 to Brussels? Please.

Q, simply put no, your reply makes it sound so great and easy, but the reality is different, when you reply like this it does my ****ing head in, i dont like saying this but your out of touch Q, has an Example i'll take a girl a few doors down, shes got one kid, aged 4'ish, she comes to me nearly every week to borrow a fiver £5, until she gets paid on the monday, monday comes and she pays me back but by friday shes asking to borrow again, and there are many like her up and down the country, how could she afford it?

you'd need extra money for travelling, put it this way some people in my road dont even own a TV they rent it off a firm called "PAY AS YOU VIEW" so if their struggling that way what hope have they got in being able to travel abroad for treatment. i dont think you understand that poor people are struggling from week to week,

if i was to travel from Liverpool to London, it would cost me, what £170 by rail, then i'd need to buy food because the journey would take 5 hours plus then i'd need to pay for the Eurostar use your price of £50 and then once in Paris i'd need to pay to get from the station to the hospital and then i'd have to pay all that money coming back, and if you not in the best of health the journey might be a ****er,

unless the government pays for everything including travel the poor wont be going you mark my words, the rich well they'll love it, that's why i make the point yet again its only for the rich,

Edited by stevewinn
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Q, simply put no, your reply makes it sound so great and easy, but the reality is different, when you reply like this it does my ****ing head in, i dont like saying this but your out of touch Q, has an Example i'll take a girl a few doors down, shes got one kid, aged 4'ish, she comes to me nearly every week to borrow a fiver £5, until she gets paid on the monday, monday comes and she pays me back but by friday shes asking to borrow again, and there are many like her up and down the country, how could she afford it?

you'd need extra money for travelling, put it this way some people in my road dont even own a TV they rent it off a firm called "PAY AS YOU VIEW" so if their struggling that way what hope have they got in being able to travel abroad for treatment. i dont think you understand that poor people are struggling from week to week,

if i was to travel from Liverpool to London, it would cost me, what £170 by rail, then i'd need to buy food because the journey would take 5 hours plus then i'd need to pay for the Eurostar use your price of £50 and then once in Paris i'd need to pay to get from the station to the hospital and then i'd have to pay all that money coming back, and if you not in the best of health the journey might be a ****er,

unless the government pays for everything including travel the poor wont be going you mark my words, the rich well they'll love it, that's why i make the point yet again its only for the rich,

So what do you do if the treatment you need is not available in Liverpool?

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So what do you do if the treatment you need is not available in Liverpool?

the NHS sends you to another hospital in the nearest town, or somewhere else in the country, they transport you by Ambulance, or reimburse you the money it cost to travel there, so its ALL FREE.

thats why i said if its all free to go aboard then no problems, but with 12 million living below the poverty line in the UK how would they afford it? i just cant see it,

Edited by stevewinn
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the NHS sends you to another hospital in the nearest town, or somewhere else in the country, they transport you by Ambulance, or reimburse you the money it cost to travel there, so its ALL FREE.

If you read the proposal, the trip to Berlin would then be all free too, as the same reimbursement as you get nationally would happen Europe-wide.

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If you read the proposal, the trip to Berlin would then be all free too, as the same reimbursement as you get nationally would happen Europe-wide.

no problem then, jobs a good'un what a bloody waste this thread was, you could have told me that at the start, when i say reimbursement to the local hospital would be about £10/20 not in the hundreds but if they' reimburse for the full cost of going to europe all well and good

Edited by stevewinn
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