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El blog de Maria

Your daily Spanish Law reporter. Have it with a cafe con leche.

Legal tip 1117. International Health and Spain merits
25 February 2014 @ 11:59

Recently approved (on last 7th of February, 2013 ), Royal Decree incorporating Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare 

Content: Under this directive , patients from European Union countries may go to a different Member State for health care by advancing the payment of services they receive. They can request the corresponding refund from their own country afterwards. This health care exchange requires certain conditions and, for some treatments,  prior authorization . The spirit of this Directive responds to the free movement of people, goods and services in the EU

Among the goals of the Royal Decree are ensuring access to a secure and high quality cross-border healthcare, ensuring patients mobility and encouraging health cooperation between Spain and the rest of the EU.

So far, it had not been regulated the fact of travelling to another  europeam member state for the express purpose of receiving health care, which is what this Directive gathers.

Attendance is understood in its broadest sense, including drugs and health products.

Long-term care , organ transplants and public vaccination programs are excluded . Reimbursement shall conform to official rates of each health service, as if the treatment had been provided in Spain .

Prior authorisation is needed in two cases:

- When attention involves hospitalization of at least one night .
- When  treatments require  highly specialized and expensive equipment or thechnology

Rights of patients covered by the Royal Decree:

1. To obtain copies of clinical reports , diagnostic tests and therapeutic procedures.
2. To continuity of treatment after being assisted elsewhere .
3. To personal data protection

4. To have at their disposal all the necessary information through the National Contact Point .

This Royal Decree also establishes a series of measures to advance the cooperation between Spain and the European Union:

Share of information about health professionals, for which the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality. The Directive provides for the establishment of a European Network of Reference Centres which  will particularly benefit people with rare diseases , which may appeal to a specialized center in another country.

Spain actively participates also in the European eHealth Network . Spain leads the project of e- health in the European Union , thanks to the success of its implementation. Spain also participates in the European Network for Health Technology Assessment , which will promote the exchange of scientific information between States.

In short, the Directive is incorporated by Royal Decree approved today provides an opportunity to strengthen and standardize criteria and requirements for quality , safety and health provision , to ensure equal access to health care within the European Union. Spain joins the most developed countries of the EU border assistance and , in turn, goes a step further in improving the care of people who need more specialized treatments such as those affected by rare diseases.

Costa Luz Left

Bolonia, Tarifa, Cádiz, Costa de la Luz, South western Spain, at

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