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EU medical card for all


Washy

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I took this from the BBC web site tonight - I hope they speed this up for all of us.

EU medical card 'by 2004'


Millions of people across Europe will be able to apply for a new EU medical smartcard from next year.
European Union officials have announced plans to introduce the electronic health card in June 2004.
The card will replace a variety of forms, such as the E111 form, which entitles holders to free emergency treatment in other member states.
The move is part of efforts to make it easier for people to travel and work across the 15 member countries.
Form filling
At the moment, people have to fill out a wide variety of different forms depending on whether they are on holidays, studying or working.
These forms entitle holders to emergency care and medical treatment on the same terms as nationals of the country they are visiting.
The smartcard aims to cut bureaucracy by simplifying the process. It will, for example, allow patients who have to pay for their health care abroad to be reimbursed more quickly by their own social security system.
Over time the card could become a kind of medical passport entitling holders to medical care anywhere in the EU.
Governments are currently considering proposals to allow citizens to seek medical treatment in any of the member states.
EU Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou said the smartcard would make life easier for people.
"The European health insurance card will make it easier and quicker for EU citizens to obtain health care when staying temporarily in another member state," she said.
A summit of EU leaders on March 21 in Brussels is expected to give final approval to implementing the smartcard.


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