The proposal for a directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare was launched by the European Commission (EC) in July 2008. The aim of this draft directive is to put in place a specific instrument to ensure European citizens further legal certainty as to their right when moving to get treatment within the EU. The main emphasis of the directive is making it easier for patients to obtain approval and for an organized financial framework to be in place to pay for the healthcare.
On 9 March 2011 the new EU law setting out patients’ rights to seek medical care in another EU country was adopted.
Unfortunately, the regulations in the area of eHealth were downscaled. The directive does not include regulations that apply the same safety and quality standards to eHealth as to non-electronic health services. A European eHealth Network will be established to foster cooperation between Member States and to draw up guidelines on cross-border patient data, this cooperation is weakened by being entirely voluntary (see Art.14). Implementation deadline for member states is September 2012.