It is understandable that respective national health systems wish to protect their overall infrastructure, especially the performance of local units.
The reason why this is not happening more frequently probably lies in the fact that EU citizens are not informed enough about this option which has existed since October 2013, when the European Directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross border healthcare came into force.
However, the arrival of the international offer of very good, high quality, EU-certified medical healthcare within EU cannot be stopped. More and more interesting opportunities for medical treatment, especially for treatments with long waiting lists at home, are opening for patients who are also international travelers and who, based on trusted and reliable sources, decide to ask for affordable medical solutions abroad.
Usually the requests for healthcare services abroad relate to:
- orthopaedics – hip and knee replacement followed by the respective rehabilitation,
- spinal and various sport injuries rehabilitation,
- dental treatment – implants,
- cataract surgery, and
- non-invasive cosmetic treatments and other similar procedures (the cosmetic treatments are not covered by the Directive).
Another very good reason for deciding in favour of medical treatment abroad is cost. The cost within private practice at home is probably more than twice a price of such services abroad. Under the Directive, a patient receiving approved treatment abroad can be reimbursed for the total expenses up to the level of the costs of the same treatment at home. We believe that fair and sound competition, which has a positive impact on quality and price, is, consequently, beneficial for citizens who need swift, affordable and reliable care, and is always welcomed and appreciated. We, the patients, should be the centre of concern and, thus, be better informed about our rights and opportunities. So, do not hesitate to seek out more information and use various information sources so that your decisions about your own healthcare is always in your hands.