[lit-ideas] Re: The flu

  • From: Teemu Pyyluoma <teme17@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 13:04:36 -0800 (PST)

--- Judy Evans <judithevans001@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> If I go to another European country and need
> treatment I may have to pay upfront for all or part
> of it; but if I get a form something-or-other the
> Govt here will refund it (most of it?!) for EU
> countries and any that have reciprocal agreements
> with us (if we still have those) that don't simply
> treat us free. Most of us do though take out private
> insurance when we go there on holiday -- but the
> cost is, for Europe, small.
I'm used to all sort of ignorance from Brits when it
comes to EU, but Judy, you of all people! European
Health Insurance Card was introduced this year
replacing the forms previously used. What exactly it
covers is somewhat complicated, the original EC treaty
covered what would've been covered in patient's home
country, but nowadays it seems to be "all necessary
treatment" with the notable exception of transport
back home. However this is conditional to such
treatment being available in public healthcare, so
your mileage may vary in Eastern Europe.

My understanding is that if I for example would be
hospitalized in Italy, the relevant Italian
authorities would bill Finnish Health Insurance.
Expect to see this become increasingly important in
the future: suppose I need an operation, and that
there is a queue to the operation in Helsinki.
However, in Budapest they have room. So my doctor
tells me I can either wait three months or hop a
health insurance paid flight and get it done next
week. The operation would cost 20 000 euros in
Helsinki and 8000 in Budapest. Suppose Hungarian
hospitals adds a bit of margin to it billing Finnish
Health Insurance 10000, add about 500 for flights and
they save 9500, the local hospital gets money to pay
their doctors living wage, Budapesteese have access to
good healthcare, and I'm on a recovery room trying to
tell Buda from Pest. I'm sure someone figuring out how
to pay the health bills has thought of this. 

Helsinki, Finland

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