Public Consultation on the implementation of European Centres of Excellence

The European Commission recently launched a consultation to receive input of interested parties as to how the criteria for the scope and for European Reference Networks and the healthcare providers wishing to join the network. The establishment of these networks is one of the innovations suggested in the European Cross-Border Care Directive (2011/24/EC).

The Directive on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare requires the European Commission to support Member States in the development of European Reference Networks between healthcare providers and centres of expertise. The aim of the European Reference Networks and of the Centres of Excellence is to facilitate improvements in access to diagnosis and delivery of high-quality, accessible and cost-effective healthcare in the case of patients who have a medical condition requiring a particular concentration of expertise or resources, particularly in medical domains where expertise is rare (see Recital 54 of the Directive). European Reference Networks could also be focal points for medical training and research, information dissemination and evaluation, especially for rare diseases.

The Article 12 of the Directive particularly requires the Commission to elaborate a list of criteria that the networks must fulfil, and the conditions and criteria which providers wishing to join Networks must fulfil. The Commission must also develop and publish criteria for establishing and evaluating these Networks as well as facilitating the exchange of information and expertise on their establishment and evaluation.

In this framework, the European Commission (DG Health & Consumers) is launching a public consultation targeted to the relevant interested parties (patients, health professionals, public authorities…) on the implementation of European Reference Networks (ERN) and in particular on the criteria to be considered according to Article 12 of the Directive 2011/24/EU. This consultation seeks to identify already established centres of expertise and encourage voluntary participation of healthcare providers in the future European Reference Networks but also to receive input as to how the criteria for the scope and for European Reference Networks and the healthcare providers wishing to join the network could be addressed and facilitated. Opinions and contributions based on evaluated experiences, regional or national models, technical and professional standards, criteria or recommendations which could provide inputs are particularly welcomed as it will facilitate the definition of technical and quality criteria (scope, general and disease specific elements).

Directive_2011.24_-_patients_rights_in_cross_border_healthcare.pdf 865 K
CrossBorderHealthcareSimulation_FinalRep_09052012.pdf 496 K
DG_Sanco_Questionnaire_on_implementation_of_art.12_of_Directive_2011.24.pdf 73 K