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de Brún lambasts European Commission

19 December, 2007

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has called on the European Commission to explain why they have been unable to come forward today with the planned announcement on cross-border healthcare.

Speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels, Ms de Brún said:

"It is not credible for the European Commission to try and cover up the lack of agreement within its own ranks on the question of patient mobility by suggesting that this last minute delay comes only because of an overcrowded agenda.

"Patient advocates and healthcare providers alike want to see a system whereby patients can get access to the services they need. Where this is not possible at home, they need to be able to access them abroad. However, the right to access these services abroad cannot take away from the overriding right to access good quality health services at home. At the moment, such decisions are being taken by the Court of Justice.

"The Commission should tell us clearly where the debate is at at this point and what fears member states and social partners have brought to the table. Maintaining and ensuring unrestricted and universal access to the public health service must be at the heart of discussions on patient mobility within the Commission. " Críoch

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