Cross-Border Healthcare Directive

All citizens of the European Union have the right to cross-border healthcare.

The European Commision has published a study supporting the evaluation of Directive 2011/24/EU to ensure patients’ rights in the EU in cross-border healthcare, a Commission Report on the operation of the directive, and data on patient mobility under the directive from 2018-2020.

Patients travelling to another EU country for medical care will enjoy equal treatment with the citizens of the country in which they are treated. If they are entitled to that healthcare at home, then they will be reimbursed by their home country. Their reimbursement will be up to the cost of that treatment at home. In some cases, they may need to seek authorisation before travelling for treatment, in particular if the treatment requires an overnight stay at an hospital or highly specialised and cost-intensive healthcare.


EU citizens have the right to access healthcare in any EU country and to be reimbursed for care abroad by their home country.

Directive 2011/24/EU on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare sets out the conditions under which a patient may travel to another EU member state to receive medical care and reimbursement. It covers healthcare costs, as well as the prescription and delivery of medications and medical devices.


With health policies and systems increasingly interconnected, the Directive makes it easier to access:

  • Information on available healthcare in other European countries
  • Alternative healthcare options, and/or specialised treatment abroad.

The provisions strike the right balance between maintaining the sustainability of health systems, while protecting patients’ right to seek treatment outside their home country.

The Directive :

  • Creates a network of National Contact Points to provide clear, accurate information on cross-border healthcare
  • Creates EU rules on a minimum list of elements to be included in a medical prescription taken from one EU country to another (cross-border prescription)
  • Encourages further development of European Reference Networks of medical expertise, broadening cooperation between EU countries, with added benefits to health technology assessments and e-health.


To know before you go

  • The terms and conditions which apply both to the healthcare you will receive, and any reimbursement to which you are entitled
  • Your rights in accessing healthcare in another EU country
  • The National Contact Point in your country
  • The quality and safety of the treatment
  • Complaints procedures in case something goes wrong


& HERE !


For more information on cross-border healthcare, you should contact the national contact point in your country. Find out where your national contact point is located HERE.

Do you know you can choose to get your healthcare in another country?

The Directive 2011/24/EU on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare clarifies the rules regarding medical care in another EU country and the conditions to be met to qualify for a refund. Watch the video of the European Commission.


The ERNs are co-funded by the
European Union (Health Programme and CEF)

EU Commission

“EURO-NMD is one of the 24 European Reference Networks (ERNs) approved by the ERN Board of Member States. The ERNs are co-funded by the European Union (Health Programme and CEF).
For more information about the ERNs and the EU health strategy,
please visit