Cross Border Healthcare & Patient Mobility: Public Consultation on Scotland's Transposition and Implementation of Directive 2011/24 EU on the Application of Patients' Rights in Cross-border Healthcare.

This consultation document sets out the Scottish Government’s approach to implementation of the EU Directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare. It seeks views on the detail of the implementation, and examines the effects the Directive may have on Scotland’s health system.

Article 12 - European Reference Networks

16.1 This article sets out a mix of Commission responsibilities and provisions to support Member States in the development of EEA-wide reference networks. These would be networks linking healthcare providers and centres of expertise in Member States, and might work to improve access to diagnosis and the provision of high-quality healthcare to all patients who have conditions requiring a particular concentration of resources expertise.

16.2 Participation is voluntary, albeit expected and encouraged and as with Article 8(4), the Commission's key focus of attention is advancing the agenda on rare disease. Article 12 sets out the criteria for the establishment of a network to include:

  • European cooperation on highly specialised healthcare;
  • Contributing to the pool of knowledge on sickness prevention;
  • Facilitate improvements in diagnosis and treatment particularly for patients with rare disease;
  • Maximising the cost-effective use of resources;
  • Reinforce research, surveillance and training for health professionals;
  • Facilitate the mobility of expertise virtually or physically and spread information and best practice particularly in developments on the diagnosis of rare disease;
  • Encourage the development of quality and safety benchmarks to spread best practice;
  • Help Member States who lack capacity in the provision of highly specialised services.

16.3 The Commission will develop criteria for establishing networks and facilitate the exchange of information and expertise. In adopting these measures, the Commission will do so through a committee comprised of the Member States under the delegated acts powers. Measures under this article are not intended to harmonise Member States' health systems and cannot be forced on Member States who do not participate.

16.4 In terms of Directive implementation, no implementing legislation is required in this area. Whatever results from this work is not a result of the legal obligation to transpose Directive requirements, but of separate decisions taken by the UK to participate in future work in this area (which will go through its own development and assessment process).


Email: John Brunton

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