The Panel “Health Care – Cooperation in Cross-Border Regions” at the 2nd Industry Forum

Cross-border cooperation can lead to a substantial improvement of the health care quality in border regions. But still, there are huge barriers between the European health-care systems, although according to experts there is a huge potential for all relevant actors. These opportunities will be discussed in the panel discussion “Health-Care Cooperation in Border Regions”  which will be held during 2nd Industry Forum in Karpacz (8-10 December 2016).

In 2011, after years of debating, the EU agreed on the Directive on Patients’ Rights in cross-border healthcare. This directive clarified the existing patient entitlements and had the intention to break down the borders in European health care. But still there is a big room for improvement to be made, which would  tackle the current problems.

Especially rural areas, where sufficient access to health care is restricted to the residents of one side of the border, reforms and initiatives can change a lot. Cross-border emergency medicine, long distances to specialists including long waiting times, aging personnel without possible successors, improvable cross-border exchange of knowledge etc. are emerging challenges. Cross-border healthcare therefore does not only have potential for improving the patients’ supply quality, but also could enable growth in some segments.

There are first initiatives of European cross-border healthcare. For instance the Franco-Spanish hospital Cerdanya, the Austrian-Czech project Healthcross in Gmuend or the recently founded German-Polish medical centre Brandmed in Slubice.