CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) countries to benefit from "patient tourism":
This article was originally published in Clinica
The single EU market for patients will benefit citizens from central and eastern Europe once their countries become EU members at the beginning of 2004. Czech health minister Marie Souckova recently said that an agreement needs to be drawn up to regulate payment mechanisms for future patient tourism in the border regions of Germany and the Czech Republic. In the Usti nad Labem region, on the Czech side of the shared border, a transregional medical centre is being built. But the situation may not be entirely straightforward, according to the Reuters news agency. The Czech regions are about to take over responsibility for hospital management from the districts, but they are also taking over their large debts. They have threatened to privatise hospital services unless the debts are first paid by the state.