The objective of the European directive 2011/24/EU* is:
- to clarify your rights as a patient with respect to access to and reimbursement of healthcare in another country of the European Union*;
- to guarantee the quality and safety of the healthcare which you receive in another country of the European Union*;
- to promote cooperation between European Union countries in the field of healthcare, in areas such as the mutual recognition of prescriptions for medicines and medical devices prescribed in another country of the European Union*.


The European directive 2011/24/EU* only applies, in principle, in the 28 Member States of the European Union*, but Belgium has decided that persons insured in Belgium can also make use of the principles in the directive to receive reimbursement for healthcare received in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

It applies to …

The European directive 2011/24/EU* applies to:
- unplanned healthcare received during a temporary stay in another country,
- planned healthcare received in another country.

The healthcare providers* do not necessarily need to work in the public healthcare system. The directive also applies to healthcare supplied by individual private healthcare providers (doctors, dentists, etc. ) or in private hospitals.

It does not apply to …

The European directive 2011/24/EU* does not apply to:
- non-medical services in the field of long-term care (such as help with housework as part of home-care);
- the assignment of and access to organs for organ-transplants;
- public vaccination programmes.


You pay the costs yourself up front, and afterwards claim reimbursement from your Belgian health insurance fund*, according to the rules and rates applied by Belgian health insurance.

This means that:
- the healthcare is only reimbursed if it is also reimbursed in Belgium;
- the amount reimbursed will never be higher than the reimbursement for healthcare provided in Belgium.

The amount reimbursed can also not be higher than the amount which you paid for the healthcare.

More info?

Contact your health insurance fund*.
You can also find more information on the European Commission website.


* cf. Glossary