24 October // The Cross-border healthcare directive enters into force in the whole European Union on 25 October 2013. This directive offers EU patients the right to seek healthcare, to which they are entitled in their own country, in any other EU country. This applies equally to medicinal products and medical devices where these are provided in the context of a health service. Member States are free to decide upon the reimbursement of costs of cross-border healthcare beyond these limits. Prior authorisations for cross-border healthcare will become the exception rather than the rule. Eventually, the Directive will provide for the development of European reference networks, to encourage the pooling of knowledge and maximise the cost effective use of resources in highly specialized healthcare, such as the diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases. Read more in the Health-EU newsletter 117.
18 October // It’s our year- European Year of citizens. We need to seize the moment and make sure that the voice of all citizens is equally heard. Especially the voice of those who are not yet fully able to be actively involved and included in society. What does active citizenship mean for a person with a disability? What are constraints and why is the access to healthcare so important? On 15 October, under the patronage of MEP Diane Dodds and on the initiative of the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF) seven organisations working for the promotion of the rights of people with disabilities gathered in the European Parliament to debate about the accessibility of healthcare.
26 September // Thanks to the continuous advances in medicine, healthcare services have drastically improved for people with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Unfortunately, many children and adults living with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus still do not have access to the right treatment and care services and stigma and discrimination remain a reality in many countries. Besides, people are not aware of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and ways to prevent neural tube defects.
The World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day (25 October) is significant as it reminds the public and policy makers that Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus are a reality and that is imperative to increase awareness about Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus to improve the lives of people living with these impairments.