Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Diversity and integration

Cross-border healthcare - 20.04.2009

CEMR Urges MEPs to Vote in Favour of a General System of Prior Authorisation
On Thursday the 23rd of April the European Parliament is voting on the much expected Directive on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare. The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) now recommends that the MEPs vote in favour of the so-called general system of prior authorisation.
Ensure the well-functioning of healthcare systems

CEMR is concerned that the proposal for a Directive implicitly creates a single market for hospital care, possibly giving an incentive for Member States to reduce their investment in healthcare services. To prevent this, Member States need to have the control of organising and financing their healthcare infrastructure in order to fulfil their responsibility for the well-functioning of healthcare systems.
A general system of prior authorisation for hospital treatment in another Member State will provide the means to ensure the Member States' right to regulate healthcare services according to the patients' needs, while laying down a safe framework within which the patient can uphold the right to cross-border healthcare and be informed about the extent of economic coverage.

CEMR therefore urges that the proposed Directive must emphasise the importance of a general system of prior authorisation.
'I strongly recommend that we put the needs of the patients first, and ensure the general system of prior authorisation. At the same time it is vital that we do not jeopardise the sustainability of the healthcare systems in the European Union", says Dr. Michael Häupl, President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions.
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