PositionEuropean Commission President Margot Wallstrom; health commissioner Markos Kyprianou

The proposal for a directive establishing a Community framework for the application of patients' rights in cross-border health care, which the Commission was due to present on 19 December, caused debates which were just as lively within the college of Commissioners as in the outside world.Commission Vice-President Margot Wallstrom stated her "fundamental reservation" on the text during the Commission's internal discussions, for "reasons of political advisability, legal basis, linking with Regulation 1408/71 (social security), fairness and subsidiarity". Her opposition was a central reason why the Commission sensationally pulled back, at the 11th hour, from presenting the text. To recall, the object of the proposal (drawn up by the services of health commissioner Markos Kyprianou), was to enable patients receiving health care in another member state to be reimbursed by their home country. The Commission considers a clarification necessary owing to a high volume of Court of Justice case law since 1998. The proposals are also in keeping with a more general trend to improve the quality of care. A communication and a draft Council recommendation will be presented in 2008 on quality of health care and patient safety, along with a draft recommendation on health care-associated infections (nosocomial infections).

Wallstrom's views are shared in part by Commissioner Charlie McCreevy's cabinet (internal market), "given the current political context and the interinstitutional calendar for 2008-2009," and more generally by the cabinets of Spanish Commissioner...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT