The EDF Alternative Report has been prepared in the frame of the review process of the EU by the UN Committee in Geneva. During its 13th session on 2 April 2015, the UN Committee will examine for the first time the report that the EU has submitted describing the work it has done to put in practice the principles of the UN CRPD since its ratification in 2010. The EDF report based its analysis on the gaps in the EU Report on the Implementation of the UN CRPD that the EU submitted to the UN Committee on 5 June 2014 and seeks to complement it where relevant with information received by EDF members and other stakeholders. IF contributed to Article 25 on Health and among other issues pointed out the shortcomings of the Cross-border Healthcare Directive.
Member States are not obliged to reimburse the extra costs related to the treatment, such as accommodation and travel costs, or extra costs which persons with disabilities might incur while receiving cross-border healthcare. This is likely to have a disproportionately high deterrent effect on those patients with disabilities who use personal assistance or children with disabilities who must travel with their parents, as well as persons who must pay extra for accessible transport or accommodation.
Member States are free to refuse the reimbursement of treatment that is not included in the "health benefits package" in the Member State of affiliation. This nullifies the usefulness of the Directive for patients who need treatments related to their disabilities (such as the insertion of a shunt to relieve the pressure from the brain in persons with hydrocephalus) that, while lifesaving, are not reimbursed by their national health insurance, as is the case in some EU Member States.
Member States are free to refuse the reimbursement of the full cost of the medical intervention if it exceeds its national ceiling for the same procedure. This leaves at a significant disadvantage both persons who run a higher risk of unexpected complications due to the nature of their disability and people with low incomes. They are forced to pay extra costs that may not have been agreed with the authorities in their Member State of affiliation when travelling outside their Member State of residence.
Chronic care related to disability is not included in the treatments and list of benefits package.
Read the EDF press release for further information.