Members of the European Union’s various committees vote this week on whether to make changes to the EU Directive on cross border healthcare. The Directive aims to provide a framework for patient mobility, whereby patients in one member state will have the right to treatment in another state.
Quoted in the Guardian, Paul Philip, the GMC’s deputy chief executive says:”The vast majority of doctors do a very good job under very difficult circumstances. However, when UK patients travel to mainland Europe, there is a risk they could be treated by a doctor who is not fit to practise or not fully qualified to give the required treatment.”
In the first 9 months of 2008, the UK NHS paid for over 500 British patients to have treatment elsewhere in Europe. Some patients were also funded by their primary care trusts. It is estimated that another 80,000 Britons funded their own treatment overseas.