Europe makes cross-border 'health tourism' easier

by AFP ,  AFP | 2011-01-19

STRASBOURG — European travellers short of prescription drugs, or on waiting-lists for surgery at home, will be reimbursed for care anywhere in the EU by late 2013, under a law approved by parliament Wednesday.

The ground-breaking European parliament law, adopted after years of talks, sets out patients' rights to medical care in any of the 27 member states, while spelling out rules for reimbursement and requirements for prior authorisation.

"This is a big day for European health, a great victory for patients' rights," said Health Commissioner John Dalli.

The law, which after formal approval by the EU's 27 leaders at a summit gives members 30 months to transcribe it into national legislation, will enable patients to be reimbursed at home for care received in a foreign country.

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