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ECJ: centres of excellence must be available to EU citizens:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

EU member states must bear the costs of treatment for their citizens when in another member state, even if the other member state treating the patient decides that the patient needs treatment in a third, non-member country. That is the conclusion reached by the European Court of Justice on April 12 2005, in case C145/03. This has significant implications for patients needing to have access to the latest treatments or medical technologies that may only be available in a few countries and not in the EU. In this case the patient, a Spanish resident, had a malignant tumour liable to cause imminent death which doctors in Germany decided could only be treated with a real chance of success in the Zurich University Clinic in Switzerland, not an EU member. "It is of no importance that the state to which the doctors have decided to transfer the patient is not a member of the EU", the ECJ concluded.

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