Government consults on EU patient mobility


The government is conducting an eight-week consultation to seek the views of healthcare professionals, patient groups, health organisations and the public on the new Patient Mobility EU Directive.

The directive is designed to clarify the rules that apply when European patients want to receive treatment in a country within the EU other than their own.

Views are being encouraged on a number of issues which will help to formulate the UK's negotiating position.

Public health minister Dawn Primarolo commented: "We want to ensure that, where UK patients choose to travel abroad for care, the NHS retains the ability to decide what care it will fund.

"Equally, anyone from other member states travelling to the UK specifically for healthcare will have to pay the full NHS cost of treatment upfront."

However, Ms Primarolo emphasised that the government remains "committed" to providing high quality healthcare close to UK patients' own homes.

The consultation will close on December 3rd prior to discussions at the Council of EU Health Ministers in Brussels on December 15th and 16th.

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