John Bowis welcomes political agreement on cross-border Directive.

Health First Europe’s Honorary President and former MEP rapporteur of the draft directive on patient’s rights in cross-border healthcare, John Bowis, welcomed the political agreement reached at the EPSCO council meeting of ministers on health and consumer’s policy yesterday. This agreement clears the way for a second reading at the European Parliament.

“As the former rapporteur on the cross-border directive, I am extremely happy about this agreement. This is a real step forward for patients in Europe and for our health policies. It has been worthwhile the wait”, said Bowis.

In Bowis’ view, “this political agreement is important not only because it puts health policy back on the European agenda but because during the negotiations politicians understood that values of quality and safety are of paramount importance for healthcare services in Europe.”

The compromise has been possible thanks to the efforts of the EU Spanish Presidency presented the European Health Ministers a compromise text on the draft directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare last week. The initiative aims at ensuring the right of patients to enjoy the same rights when receiving cross-border healthcare as they would have enjoyed if they had received comparable services in the Member State of affiliation.