The Patients' Rights Directive (2011/24/EU) - Providing (some) rights to EU residents seeking healthcare in other Member States

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6 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents the main elements of Directive 2011/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2011 on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare, commonly known as the Patient's Rights Directive. It is the latest EU initiative with regard to European Health Care and the Single Market. The main elements of the Directive contain provisions related to the prior authorisation of health care in another Member State, the reimbursement of such health care and the removal of unjustified obstacles to achieving these aims.
These provisions largely reflect the recent case law of the European Court of the Justice (ECJ). Amongst these are provisions involving the use of personal data. Such provisions will engage data protection issues and will have to be carried out according to the data protection directives. Alongside this primary aim of codifying ECJ case law the Patient's Rights Directive also introduces novel initiatives aimed at fostering cross border cooperation between various elements of national healthcare systems.
Part 1 of this contribution will describe the legal basis and the aims of the PRD, Part 2 will describe the principle obligations placed on the Member States with regard to reimbursement, Parts 3 and 4 will describe other informational and procedural requirements placed upon the Member States of Treatment and Affiliation. Finally Part 5 will outline some of the novel initiatives that have been included in the PRD. The increases in the frequency of cross border-treatment that this directive attempts to facilitate are likely to see a concurrent increase in cross-border patient information flows.Such data flows will be subject to the Union's provisions on Data Protection. It remains uncertain whether the EU's Data Protection regime will act as inhibitor to cross-border medical treatment or rather represent a gold standard that allows patients to engage in such activities with peace of mind. The Patient's Rights Directive will form part of the EU's future e-Health strategy which envisages a large increase in the fluidity of patient data. A discussion of this directive is therefore merited in this journal
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-502
Number of pages6
JournalComputer Law & Security Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • medical law

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