This week is time to get to know the b-solutions' cases selected under the thematic area of "Health"!
In the course of the IV call for proposals of the initiative, the Border Focal Point at DG REGIO and the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) selected 6 new cases under under the present category.
They were identified along 6 different European borders and addressed obstacles arising in the legal or administrative frameworks of 9 Member States.
Read the fill list of advice cases below and discover more how benefitting of healthcare or emergency services across the borders is still a complicated matter.
The 6 selected cases:
Applying the GDPR and national legislation in cross-border public health cooperation
The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in the territory of the trilateral border region between Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany highlighted the existence of some structural problems concerning the exchange of data at a cross-border level.
In particular, the transmission of patients data and the cross-border “contact tracing” proved to be very difficult because of the different transpositions of the European GDPR Regulation at a national level, that hindered the coordination among the three neighbouring countries.
Beyond the current situation, the absence of cross-border protocols for data exchange is a limit to the successful execution of projects aimed at enhancing health and wellbeing in these territory.
Public institution Marijampole hospital
Opportunities to improve the cross-border provision of healthcare and related services
Local institutions at the Polish-Lithuanian border would like to improve the actual social assistance, healthcare and emergency services’ provision by creating a cross-border interconnected functional area.
However, uncertainties on how to proceed arise because there is no indication, in the current legal frameworks, concerning the possibility to implement the provision of healthcare services in cooperation with the neighbouring country.
Karlovy Vary Region (regional government)
Cross-border Health Services, Mountain Rescue Service and Patient Transfer
Karlovy Vary is a Czech mountainous region bordering Germany.
In light of the specificities of this territory, German hospitals and ambulatories are easier to reach for Czech citizens residing in or tourists visiting the region in need of regular or emergency healthcare services .
However, problems arise because the Czech local and administrative frameworks regulating the reimbursement of costs for healthcare services, do not take in consideration the cross-border dimension and do not address cases of services benefitted in the neighouring country.
Observatoire Franco-Belge de la Santé
Towards simplified procedures for cross-border health professionals
At the French-Belgian border the procedures for the recognition of the doctors and other healthcare professionals’ diplomas, are complex and time consuming.
Beyond this administrative burden, further problems limiting the cross-border access to medical jobs are the different systems of remuneration and taxation present in the two countries and the language requirements, especially for the job positions open in the Belgian Flanders, where Dutch is the main language.
Cross-border healthcare and the reimbursement of cross-border healthcare costs
In the cross-border region between Belgium and the Netherlands, local citizens face problems when accessing healthcare services on the other side of the border.
In particular, citizens who are insured in Belgium have difficulties in receiving the reimbursement of the costs for the planned healthcare services provided in The Netherlands.
As a result the overall cross-border access to healthcare for the inhabitants of the border region is limited.
EGTC European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino
On safe legal ground - cross-border cooperation in disaster response
In the Alpine region between Italy and Austria the joint management of rescue and emergency services is prevented because of the absence of a proper regional legal framework that takes in consideration the specificities of the cross-border area.
To facilitate the coordination between the two sides of the border and to ensure better services to local citizens and tourists visiting the area, a joint protocol that involves the main local actors and the regional administrations is needed.