Health Policy 2019 Jun 8;123(6):526-531. Epub 2019 Mar 8.
Tampere University, Faculty of Social Sciences, P.O. Box 100, 33014, Finland; National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Department of Health and Social Care Systems, P.O. Box 30, 00271, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address:
The Directive on the application on patient rights' in cross-border healthcare (2011/24/EC) was transposed in Finland by the Act on Cross-Border Health Care (1201/2013), which entered into force on 1 January 2014. A new reimbursement model for cross-border health care costs was designed. The Finnish legislator considered the chosen reimbursement model to correspond both with the aims of the Directive as well as to the functioning of the national health care scheme. The European Commission, however, initiated the first infringement procedure against Finland already in January 2014. In spring 2015, the Government launched a Regional government, health and social services reform, which would fundamentally transform the organizing, production and financing of health care services in Finland. Consequently a Government bill (HE 68/2017 vp) to change the existing reimbursement model for cross-border health care costs was delivered to the Parliament on 1 June 2017. In this article, Finland's implementation process of the Directive is reviewed. Special attention is drawn to the argumentation concerning the reimbursements of cross-border health care costs. The differences of views on reimbursements can generally illustrate the conflicting objectives to expand access to cross-border health care services and to ensure financial sustainability of states thereof.