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 15 - Co-operation on health technology assessment

19.1 Article 15 provides for the Commission to set up and support a voluntary network in the area of health technology assessment (HTA). This aims to build on several years' co-operation in HTA at EU level through a series of EU-funded projects, and most recently, the Joint Action on Health Technology Assessment 'EUnetHT' (more information about EUnetHT can be accessed through the website: Two UK partners are active participants in this work, the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC) and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). The Scottish Medicines Consortium also has a watching brief.

19.2 Scotland supports international collaboration in HTA and welcomes the Commission's support for on-going voluntary cooperation in this area. However, decisions about which treatments to provide, including the assessment of new medicines and technologies, clearly form part of Member State's responsibilities for the organisation, funding and management of national health systems. Different systems use health technology assessment in different ways and EU initiatives in this area, including the voluntary network, must in our view reflect this. In particular, it is important to be clear that we are not working towards the creation of a single EU HTA body.

19.3 Sharing of information and methods, and stream-lining of information requirements are likely to be the most valuable and productive areas for continuing cooperation in HTA at EU level. The Scottish Government looks forward to being fully involved in the development of the voluntary European network on HTA. The Commission will adopt measures for the establishment of the network and the arrangements for granting aid by setting up a committee of Member States. These measures are not mandatory and will not form part of the Directive implementing legislation.

19.4 The Commission has recently conducted a public consultation on "Modalities of stakeholder consultation in the voluntary Health Technology Assessment network to be established under Directive 2011/24/EU". Information about this consultation, which closed on 1 August 2012, is available from the European Commission's website at:

Consultation questions

  • How do you think the European reference networks and proposed e-health and health technology assessment networks might best add value to Scotland?
  • What impact might these have on current Scottish systems?


Email: John Brunton

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