EU boost for health tourists

A Greek law exempting health insurance providers from reimbursing adult patients for treatment in foreign hospitals violates European Union legislation, the European Court of Justice has ruled. The ruling was issued in response to a case brought by a Greek widow whose husband had paid 13,600 pounds (20,100 euros) for treatment at a private London hospital in 1998 for which he was not reimbursed by his insurer, the Social Security Fund for the Self-employed (OAEE). According to Greek law, insurance funds are only obliged to reimburse costs incurred at private hospitals abroad when the patient is under the age of 14. This law violates EU legislation on the provision of health services within the bloc, the court ruled. «Such legislation discourages, even prevents, patients from seeking treatment from hospitals in other member states,» it said. The court suggested that certain measures be taken to ensure compliance with EU regulations. These include the creation of a «prior authorization system» and the formulation of a «reimbursement scale.»

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.