EU Directive on cross border healthcare provides boost for medical tourism Tuesday 1 July 2008 PDF Print The EU Proposal for a Directive on patient’s rights in cross border healthcare (to be announced on Wednesday 2 July) provides an added stimulus to the already growing number of medical tourists who seek hospital treatment elsewhere in the European Union. The Directive will create a formal framework and remove obstacles for UK patients wishing to travel for treatment in other EU countries. In some circumstances, patients will be able to travel to other EU countries for treatment and will be able to reclaim the cost of treatment from the NHS. Patients will have to pay their travel and accommodation costs, plus any top-up fees if charges in the foreign hospitals are higher than the NHS cost. The Directive proposes the following developments in cross border healthcare: · A legal framework for the reimbursement of treatment where it takes place elsewhere in the EU. · Common principles in terms of guaranteeing patient safety and ensuring quality and continuity of care. · Stimulating greater European cooperation on healthcare including the establishment of “European Reference Networks” which would create a concentration of expertise, training and resources for specific diseases and health issues. · Establishment of a European network for the assessment of new medical technology. · Establishment of standards for e-health, in particular the transfer of patient information and treatment records between member states. Keith Pollard of Treatment Abroad (www.treatmentabroad.com) says; “This Directive is the first step to creating a truly European market in healthcare; it could revolutionise the way we experience healthcare in this country and throughout the rest of Europe. It’s very good news for the fast developing medical tourism industry. The Directive will take the concept of patient choice to a new level; www.treatmentabroad.com will assist that choice by providing the most up-to-date and relevant information that patients need when making decisions about travelling for treatment.” Treatment Abroad is the most popular site on the web for UK and European medical tourists seeking information about cost effective surgery and medical treatment abroad. The site provides information covering the healthcare services available, doctor accreditation, treatment costs, travel and accommodation. There's also an extensive and free Guide to Medical Tourism to download, for those considering overseas treatment. “With the announcement of this new Directive we are expecting a significant increase in traffic to the website not only from British patients but also from members of other EU countries looking for reliable, comprehensive and practical information about treatment options within EU member countries”, continues Pollard. Last year, around 100,000 “medical tourists” left the UK for treatment. Their experiences were resoundingly positive with 97 per cent of patients willing to travel abroad for treatment again, according to Treatment Abroad’s recent medical tourist survey. Treatment Abroad’s newly launched patient ratings and reviews system lets medical tourists share and rate their experiences and its “Code of Practice for Medical Tourism”, the first of its kind in the industry has been set up to encourage the adoption of best practice in medical tourism through the commitment of international healthcare providers to a voluntary code of practice. Both the “Code of Practice” and the ratings and reviews have been introduced to give further reassurance to prospective health tourists. Ends For further information please contact: Caroline Ratner at Caroline Ratner Communications 020 8209 0120/07976 765453 or firstname.lastname@example.org Editors’ Notes About Intuition Communication Intuition Communication is the publisher of some of the UK’s most visited healthcare information sites including Private Healthcare UK and Treatment Abroad. www.privatehealthcare.co.uk - The UK’s largest online private health care guide. www.treatmentabroad.com - the UK's leading guide to health and medical tourism, covering over 20 destinations worldwide. www.treatmentinhungary.net - a health tourism site with a specific focus on Hungary. www.treatmentincyprus.com - a health tourism site with a specific focus on Cyprus. www.treatmentinspain.com - a health tourism site with a specific focus on Spain. www.harleystreet.guide.co.uk - provides comprehensive information about this world famous area of medical excellence. www.self-help.org.uk - a searchable database of over 1,000 self help organisations and support groups across the UK that provide support, guidance and advice to patients, carers and their relatives. This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Caroline Ratner Communications in the following categories: Health, Travel, Medical & Pharmaceutical, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.