A new cross-border healthcare directive that has been integrated into national legislation will improve the quality of patient care across Europe and put Cyprus on the map as a medical tourism destination, Health Minister Philippos Patsalis said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a press conference, Patsalis said that new legislation allows Europeans to receive treatment in any member state they choose, as long as the specific treatment is not provided in the member state where they are insured or is not accessible within a medically acceptable timeframe.
Implementation of the European directive is expected to help Cyprus in the medicine and healthcare sectors, while at the same time offering many opportunities for the development of medical tourism on the island.
“Our country’s geographical position, the climate, our traditional hospitality, the trained health service staff and the state-of-the-art healthcare units, in combination with the fact that many countries have complicated healthcare systems in comparison to Cyprus, can contribute in a positive way to efforts to make our country a European destination for treatment and recuperation,” Patsalis said.
According to the directive, citizens will know from beforehand the amount of expenses they will have to pay as well as the amount that will be refunded to them. They can also receive comprehensive information on the qualifications, procedures and protocols followed at the health centre or health service provider of their choice.
Regulations will be implemented to ensure easy access to safe and high quality cross-border medical care with complete respect for national authorities in terms of organisation and healthcare provision.
It is also pointed out that a European report network will be established for healthcare providers in order to achieve expertise mobility in Europe and secure access to highly specialised care.
The implementation of an electronic health system will also provide access to quality healthcare and create a network of authorities and institutions that will be responsible for the evaluation of health technologies to facilitate collaboration among national authorities.
“All of this will develop collaboration among member states and at the same time ensure a high level of offered healthcare services and access to quality services for citizens and patients,” Patsalis said.