The EU Cross-border Directive

Pan-European cooperation on HTA – good; eHealth – a missed opportunity, says COCIR

When the European Parliament voted in favour of the EU Directive on Patients’ Rights in Cross-border Healthcare, Health Commissioner John Dalli, explained that this is an important step forward for all EU patients – i.e. by gaining easier access to good quality and reimbursed treatment across EU borders. Meanwhile, Europe’s healthcare systems will need to deliver ‘more for less’.

In this context, the non-profit trade organisation COCIR (Coordination Committee of the Radiological and Electromedical Industries) has welcomed the decision to have pan-European cooperation on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) involving all relevant actors – including industry – in the discussions. COCIR has pointed out that HTA when properly used ‘… 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 expresses disappointment 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.’

 

22.02.2011

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