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Cross-border Healthcare in EU Member States

The EU Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare was adopted on 19 January 2011 and published in the EU's Official Journal on 9 March 2011. It entered into application on 25 of October 2013.


The Directive clarifies patients' rights to access safe and good quality treatment across EU borders, and be reimbursed for it. Patients travelling to another EU country for medical care have a rigth to equal treatment with the citizens of the country in which they are treated. If they are entitled to that healthcare at home, then they will be reimbursed by their home country. Their reimbursement will be up to the cost of that treatment at home. In some cases, they may need to seek authorisation before travelling for treatment, in particular if the treatment requires an overnight stay at an hospital or highly specialised and cost-intensive healthcare. Patients will be reimbursed the same amount as they would receive in their own country for the same type of healthcare.


Reimbursement of cross-border healthcare

The Directive covers all healthcare services provided by health professionals to patients to assess, maintain and restore their health, including the prescription and dispensation of medicinal products and medical devices.


Not all healthcare is automatically reimbursed. It is important to be aware that the decision on which healthcare is reimbursed, and at what level, is entirely the decision of Member States. In principle, patients are entitled to receive reimbursement for the same or similar healthcare, for the same amount that would have been given had the healthcare been provided in the home Member State.


As a rule, patients who access planned cross-border healthcare under the Directive will have to pay the healthcare provider upfront, and will then be reimbursed by their home Member State.


You can claim reimbursement when you return to Lithuania, up to the amount the treatment would have cost in Lithuania. For more information and to ensure you don't have any difficulties when claiming back your money, contact the Lithuanian territorial health insurance fund before making any arrangements abroad. 


Claiming for the reimbursement of the costs of cross-border healthcare, please present to the Territorial Health Insurance Fund the financial documents and the copies of medical records. If you have got any specialized or in-patient treatment, you should provide a copy of the referral for such treatment.  


The Directive doesn't cover treatments outside the EEA. It also doesn't cover treatments that you would not be entitled to receive under in Lithuania. The Directive does not apply to services of long-term care to support people in their daily routines (such as in care homes), organ transplants, or national vaccination campaigns. If you are unsure whether or not you are entitled to reimbursement of costs of a particular treatment, please contact Territorial Health Insurance Fund.


National Contact Points provide information, in accordance with the laws of the given Member State, on the terms of using healthcare, healthcare providers, patients' rights, complaint procedures, legal remedies, and on legal and administrative opportunities.


PLEASE NOTE! The European Commission publishes the avalibility of the Contact Points after the implementation date. The list is continously being refreshed.






Czech Repuplic





















United Kingdom



Further information:


The European Commission's question and answer document on the Directive:


DG Health and Consumers – cross-border healthcare:


The Health EU Portal:


Your Europe:


Rules currently in application for patient mobility:


European health insurance card:


Planned medical treatment:


List of national contact points:

'To know before you go'pdf :





Modified: 2018-08-01