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The Future of European Health Care Systems


Hamburg, Germany November 5, 2008

Hamburg, Germany November 5, 2008

Hamburg, Germany
November 5, 2008

The event will focus on the following two topics:

Health Care Reforms in Europe: At the Crossroads between Free Market Economy and Central Planning?

and Experiences of European Cross-Border Health Care
Ten years after the groundbreaking ruling by the European Court on Kohll and Decker, patient rights during medical treatments in Europe are set to be massively strengthened by a new EU directive. This directive should be seen as a consequence of the steady growth in the European health market and increasing patient mobility and health tourism.

TK addressed this development early on and, in 1998, was one of the first sickness funds to reimburse its insurants for intended medical treatment in other EU countries. TK also led the way when it came to signing contracts with service providers in other EU countries: the “Service for Europe” – in cooperation with AOK Rheinland/Hamburg – includes nearly 70 contracts with hospitals. There are also 27 contracts with spas. There are plans to include further locations.

It is especially important to us to learn from the experience of our members who have had treatment in other European countries in order to improve the care and service we offer in this respect. With this in mind, we are currently carrying out a survey – “TK in Europe” – among 34,000 TK members, of which the results we will present at our congress.

Health policy is still within the remit of the individual EU member states. The health care systems are all under different levels of pressure to reform. We are pleased to be the first German sickness fund – in cooperation with the “European Health Management Association” (EHMA) in Brussels – to organise an international congress on the future of the European heath care systems and thus also to tackle the opportunities offered by the European health market to our insurants.