Further information on the European Cross-border Healthcare Directive including, appeals and complaints, claiming back the cost, insurance, travel expenses and privacy.
Appeals and complaints
If you are unhappy with the decision you receive from your local health board regarding European cross-border healthcare, then you have the right to appeal.
This appeal should be in writing and within the complaints timeframe that your local health board has set out.
Each local health board in Scotland has a system in place for dealing with such feedback and complaints. You can find their contact details within our contacts in Scotland section.
More about the NHS feedback and complaints procedures
Claiming back the cost
Under the European Cross-border Healthcare Directive, when accessing healthcare in another European Economic Area State, you will be expected to pay the costs of treatment to the overseas healthcare provider.
Claim for reimbursement is made to your local NHS Board when you return.
When requesting reimbursement you will need to provide:
- evidence of clinical need
- evidence of prior authorisation, if this was required
- itemised receipts and proof of payment for the treatment or service you purchased
How is the amount calculated?
The amount you will be reimbursed is up to the amount that the same, or equivalent, treatment would have cost the NHS had it been provided by your local NHS Board in Scotland.
This means that if the treatment you received overseas is more expensive than it would have been if provided by the NHS at home, you pay the additional costs. If the treatment is cheaper, you cannot profit from it. In such circumstances, the actual cost is all that is reimbursed.
When calculating reimbursement, NHS Boards will use the mandatory tariff or the published national average reference costs.
A copy of the Scottish tariff can be found on the Information Services Division website.
What about insurance?
If you are going abroad for medical treatment in another country we strongly advise you to have comprehensive independent medical insurance for your trip that fully covers your requirements.
NHS Scotland will not reimburse the cost of health insurance.
What about travel expenses and accommodation?
Travel costs will only be reimbursed if you would have been eligible to receive travel costs in Scotland under existing NHS means-tested schemes.
Reimbursement of travel costs will be by the cheapest reasonable means of transport. This means you reach the place of treatment in a reasonable time and without detriment to your condition.
The cost of accommodation is not reimbursable.
The European Cross-border Healthcare Directive requires the right to privacy during the processing of personal data.
On request, your are entitled to be supplied with a copy of your medical treatment record to take back with you to your home clinicians.
A health record can be recorded in computerised or manual form, or in a mixture of both.
More information can be found in the Data Protection Act 1998.