Dutch and German hospitals to improve cooperation

An EU Directive adopted by the European Parliament on 19 January 2011 requires member states to strengthen patients’ rights within two years.

The Directive reinforces the cooperative efforts that the Netherlands and Germany are already making. Dutch and German hospitals – Maastricht University Medical Centre and Universitätsklinikum Aachen, and Groningen University Medical Centre and Klinikum Oldenburg – are already collaborating in the area of paediatric cardiology. Young German heart patients are already able to receive treatment in Groningen, which for some is much closer to home than the university cardiology centre in Kiel, Germany.

The Dutch Ministry of the Interior & Kingdom Relations and Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and their German counterparts held a symposium in Nijmegen on 22 June to discuss ways to further develop cooperation between hospitals in the Netherlands and Germany. Only a third of hospitals in the border region have formal cooperative ties.

Healthcare insurers, as well as hospitals, have a clear responsibility under the Directive to enable patients to access the best possible treatment and care close to where they live, with minimal travel time and without administrative hassle.

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