Sweden reveals myth of EU healthcare ’freedom’
2012 08 06
By Salomon Rogberg | TheLocal.se
Despite EU legislation about citizens’ healthcare rights, the situation in Sweden reveals a system riddled with problems that create uncertainty about treatments and leave many with huge bills to pay, The Local’s Salomon Rogberg discovers.
When it was first introduced in 2004, the EU’s European Health Insurance Card was hailed as a major step forward in facilitating the free movement of people throughout the European Union.
By flashing the blue credit card-sized document, any EU citizen in need of medical care would be ensured their treatment would be covered by the public health care system, regardless of whether they were in their home country or visiting another EU member state.
But the recent case of Johanna, a Swedish woman residing in Germany who was left with 130,000 kronor ($18,500) in medical bills after she gave birth prematurely while visiting family in Sweden, shows that the system doesn’t always work, especially for mobile Europeans who divide their time between more than one EU country.
“Someone has to take responsibility. If you’re an EU citizen, it shouldn’t be a problem to receive healthcare,” Moderate Party MEP Christoffer Fjellner tells The Local.
Fjellner’s frustration stems from what he sees as failings in the EU health system that in dealing with the medical needs of mobile EU citizens – precisely the sort of people whose lives were supposed to be made easier by a more harmonized system across member states.
In many ways, Johanna – whose case was highlighted recently in the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper – embodies the modern "EU citizen": born in an EU country (Sweden), working in another (Germany) for an employer based in yet another (the UK).
But because she was pregnant when she moved to Germany, health authorities there said she had a "pre-existing condition" and thus wasn’t covered by Germany’s public health insurance system.
And after her baby came six weeks early during a visit to Sweden, Johanna was shocked when she received a bill from the Swedish hospital for more than 120,000 kronor for the delivery and two weeks of neo-natal care that health authorities in Sweden, Germany and the UK refused to cover.
“It’s idiotic to let people suffer and force them to borrow money to pay bills," says Fjellner, who has devoted significant time toward issues related to mobility and healthcare access within the EU.
According to him, existing legislation on the matter is clear but huge problems remain in how the rules are implemented in Sweden and elsewhere.
Read the full article at: thelocal.se
Billions of Brazilian Health Dollars Going Up in Smoke
Fight Obesity With Economics, Not Health Campaigns, Experts Say
Medical Tattoos Offer Important Health Information
Prevent the EU from restricting information communicating benefits of food and natural health products
Health Canada Orders Doctor to stop treatments with Ayahuasca
Michael Moore Celebrates Obamacare Law Written by Insurance Companies
Latest News from our Front Page
'Spectre' Is Doomed: Did North Korea Kill James Bond? No, but Political Correctness will
Comment: Below is an interesting article from Forbes on the fate of the Bond franchise. They asks: 'Spectre' Is Doomed: Did North Korea Kill James Bond?
North Korea probably wasn't behind the Sony hack, China also chimed in. Looks more like a False Flag Hack. North Korea is a lot of things, but behind the Sony attack? Probably not. They have ...
NYPD officer slayings: When the Left's False Narratives Have Deadly Consequences
On Saturday afternoon, Black Brooklynite Ismaaiyl Brinsley ambushed two NYPD police officers and shot them both to death while they were sitting in their patrol car. According to early reports, there was “no warning” and “no provocation.” Brinsley simply approached the vehicle and “unloaded” on the two officers sitting inside. Hours before the assassination, he had announced his intent ...
Saudi oil chief: No conspiracy behind oil prices
Nothing to see here or here
Saudi Arabia's oil chief on Sunday dismissed allegations that his kingdom conspired to bring down oil prices in order to harm other countries and told a summit of Arab energy leaders that he was confident the market would stabilize.
The kingdom, which is dependent on oil revenues, is able to weather lower oil prices due to ...
North Korea's internet is having serious problems
North Korea is having serious connectivity issues this morning, North Korea Tech reports. The country has extremely limited web infrastructure to begin with, but reports from Dyn indicate the country's infrastructure has suffered a series of major outages over the past 24 hours. As a result, anyone at a North Korean IP would have found it nearly impossible to connect ...
The Left, The State And (Opportunistically As Always) Big Business
Adapted from Paul Gottfried‘s address to the 2014 H.L. Mencken Club Conference, at a panel focused on “The Left and the State,“ following remarks made by Carl Horowitz of the National Legal and Policy Center and Keith Preston of Attack the System
I’d like to come back to a remark that Carl Horowitz made in Keith Preston described in his remarks, ...
|More News » |