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Guidelines on EU Emergency Assistance in Cross-Border Cooperation in Healthcare related to the COVID-19 crisis

Guidelines on EU Emergency Assistance in Cross-Border Cooperation in Healthcare related to the COVID-19 crisis

2020-04-06
Guidelines on EU Emergency Assistance in Cross-Border Cooperation in Healthcare related to the COVID-19 crisis

Guidelines will help national, regional and local authorities, through a wide range of existing policies and schemes, to enhance cross-border healthcare for patients suffering from COVID-19, but also for other pathologies, with a view to relieve the burden placed on health systems.

The coronavirus pandemic is putting healthcare systems across the EU under unprecedented and increasing pressure.

The Commission has issued practical guidance to Member States to support and encourage cross-border healthcare cooperation between national, regional and local authorities. Cooperation across borders can help ease the pressure on overburdened hospitals by transferring patients suffering from coronavirus for treatment in Member States where hospital places are available. The Commission will also support Member States or non-governmental organisations to send qualified teams of medical personnel to offer assistance across borders.

Guidelines set out a more coordinated approach to cross-border cooperation on emergency healthcare. The guidelines also outline additional support and assistance to be provided by the Commission to Member States health authorities, in particular by:

  • Coordinating requests for cross-border healthcare assistance through the Health Security Committee
  • Supporting health authorities requesting assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. 
  • Setting out arrangements for patient mobility across borders and clarifying the steps to be taken for the reimbursement of healthcare costs of cross-border treatment in compliance with the Social Security Coordination Regulations.
  • Encouraging the deployment of qualified teams of medical personnel across borders. 
  • Operating a Clinical Management Support System to support healthcare professionals to share knowledge and expertise. The system provides a Web conferencing platform that allow clinicians to exchange knowledge, discuss, and share clinical cases across the EU. Clinicians and healthcare professionals interested in receiving more information and for joining the system can contact SANTE-COVID-CLINICIANS-NETWORK(ELIMINAR)@ec.europa.eu

Find more information at the EC press release and dedicated Commission webpage on the EU's response to the coronavirus outbreak