Spain’s Health Minister, Trinidad Jiménez has said that six other European countries support Spain’s stand to block the agreement on the EU health directive on cross-border health care. At a meeting where health ministers of European countries were present, Spain managed to gather support of six nations including Poland, Portugal, Greece, Slovakia, Lithuania and Romania.
It is reported that the proposal of the directive was to enable patients to receive health care in another member country of the European Union without needing to get prior permission from their home country, and then get back the treatment expenditure when they return.
Jiménez said that the reason for Spain’s protest was the inability of such a directive to guarantee good treatment to patients and also cost the public health system an additional 2 billion Euros annually. Spain also saw a problem with the health care of expatriates, as there could have been a situation where they could undergo treatment in another state of the EU and Spain would have to pay them costs which would be much greater than a Spanish public hospital.
Another problem with the directive was that only a very small part of the population, which was rich enough to pay for surgeries before reimbursement, would be benefitted by it. This would mean more than 90 percent of the European citizens would not be able to reap benefits from it.