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Medical Treatment In Another EU Country

            European Union health policy is a prime example of the dynamics of European integration and the complexity of European law. As set in Regulation 1408/71, an individual from one member state is eligible for medical treatment on the same basis as nationals in another member state if authorized by the competent institution in his/her own state (Comhairle). However, there are no harmonized rules throughout the EU regarding medical services because each member state is entitled to their own conditions for eligibility and authorization. Therefore, a cancer patient in Ireland with medical insurance can rely upon EU law to pay for hospital treatment in France only if given authorization from the health board in Ireland and meeting all the eligibility requirements of France. .
             The requirements that apply in each member state do not deal with entitlement to services in that country nor do they require any country to provide any particular treatment. They do provide that patients can be referred to another member state for treatment in certain circumstances. In Ireland there is no legislation on the circumstances in which a patient can be referred abroad for medical treatment. Instead, the Department of Health issues guidelines to health boards, which are considered the competent institutions to authorize treatment in another EU state (Public Services). .
             The nature of these guidelines provide that authorization for treatment abroad is only granted if the treatment in question is regarded as normal in the professional circles concerned and is necessary and unavailable, meaning that authorization can be refused only if the patient can receive the same or equally effective treatment without undue delay in their home state (George). The usual procedure is that a person who is authorized to go to another member state for treatment is issued with a Form E112 to establish his or her entitlement to the treatment.

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