Finland was due to introduce a new prior authorisation procedure under the EU’s Patient Directive at the beginning of 2024 for patients seeking medical treatment in an EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland.
However, Finland will not introduce the prior authorisation procedure for the time being, as there are currently no measures in Finnish service choices in health care that would meet the requirements for prior authorisation under the Patient Directive.
Prior authorisation under the Patient Directive may be introduced in Finland at a later stage. In such cases, the Finnish Government will lay down in a separate decree the services for which reimbursement requires prior authorisation. Kela will announce this separately.
Under the EU’s Patient Directive, patients have the right to seek medical treatment in another EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland and be reimbursed. Reimbursement is paid according to the same criteria, regardless of whether the treatment was given in the patient’s home country or abroad. The EU’s Patient Directive has been implemented in Finland by the Act on Cross-Border Health Care. The law changed on 1 May 2023, and the amendment to prior authorisation was due to enter into force at the beginning of 2024.
Patients can still seek treatment abroad either on their own initiative without prior authorisation or with prior authorisation under the EU regulation.
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