Favourable vote from EP on Cross-border Directive: COCIR opinion

COCIR congratulates the European Parliament for its positive vote on the EU Directive on Patients’ Rights in Cross-border Healthcare today. As explained by Health Commissioner Dalli, this is an important step forward for all patients in Europe. EU citizens will now benefit from this Directive by getting easier access to good quality treatment across EU borders while obtaining reimbursement.

In future, Europe’s healthcare systems will need to deliver “more for less”. In this context, COCIR applauds the decision to have pan-European cooperation on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) involving all relevant actors – including industry – in the discussions. COCIR’s October 2010 Position Paper points out the importance of HTA when properly used. This tool will help ensure better use of healthcare resources, accelerate the uptake of innovative technologies and reduce inequalities between EU citizens with regards to their access to healthcare.

However, COCIR is disappointed about the weak compromise reached on eHealth (Article 13) as we believe this is a missed opportunity to leverage its considerable potential for European prosperity. It is obvious that eHealth could bring enormous benefits while we continue to face a number of barriers preventing its effective deployment.

COCIR Secretary General, Nicole Denjoy, said “HTA is instrumental to achieve a favourable environment to foster better use of new technologies in an integrated care approach. eHealth is a great enabler to improve access, quality and continuity of care of citizens, while contributing to rationalisation of costs. We hope that this Directive, which provides for the first time a legal basis for eHealth, will encourage Member States and the European Commission to continue their joint efforts, especially through the eHealth Governance Initiative and the European Innovation Partnership for an effective deployment of eHealth across Europe.”

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Kathryn Sheridan
COCIR Communications Advisor
00 32 (0) 496 116198