Rules for receiving cross-border healthcare and reimbursement of these costs were clarified thanks to the EU Directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare, which was formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2011, and all Member States have to implement it by November 2013. It provides more clarity about possibilities to seek healthcare in another Member State . The Directive also clarifies who is responsible for quality and safety of care in cross-border settings. Finally, it strengthens cooperation in different areas, such as networks of centres of reference for specialised care. Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning seeks to take advantage of the Directive in order to advance women’s access to SRHR services. We expect that the implementation of the Directive will improve the situation of Polish women’s access to abortion. Due to the restrictive law access to abortion is limited, moreover even women who are legally entitled to abortion are often denied access to services in Poland . The Directive will change it, because women will be given the opportunity to seek the services abroad, and the Polish state will be obliged to reimburse the costs of services. It is important to note that, at the same time the Czech Ministry of Health has proposed the new law regulating accessibility of abortion for citizen of the EU. The current Czech law regulating access to abortion was adopted in 1986 a nd it does not conform with the European regulations. According to the current legislation, abortion on request is available to the 12th week, and abortion for medical reasons is allowed till the 24th week.

 

The text of the directive is available here:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P7-TA-2011-0007&language=EN