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Healthcare: smartphone app to ensure stress-free travel this summer

Commission Européenne - IP/12/563   05/06/2012

Autres langues disponibles: FR DE DA ES NL IT SV PT FI EL CS ET HU LT LV MT PL SK SL BG RO

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 5 June 2012

Healthcare: smartphone app to ensure stress-free travel this summer

Just in time for the summer holidays, the EURO 2012 Football Championship and the London 2012 Olympics, the European Commission has launched an application for smartphones explaining how to use the European Health Insurance Card.

The Card gives people access to state-provided healthcare in case of illness or an accident during travel and temporary stays in 31 European countries. The Card is available – free of charge - from national health insurance providers. It guarantees access to urgent treatment under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country.

Differences among healthcare systems may make it difficult to figure out how to use the Card in various countries and what the local rules are. This handy guide on how to use the Card in the 27 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland is now available as an application for smartphones on three platforms: iOS, Android and Windows 7 mobile. It includes general information about the card, emergency phone numbers, treatments that are covered and costs, how to claim reimbursement and who to contact in case you have lost your card. The app is available in 24 languages, with the option to switch from one language to another.

The European Health Insurance Card itself cannot be generated or downloaded by the application but must be requested from national health insurance providers.

Download "European Health Insurance Card" app for your smartphone:

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559

Background

Table 1: Numbers of EHICs and PRCs issued and in circulation in 2011

Country

EHICs issued in 2011

EHICs in circulation

PRC (provisional replacement cards issued)

Population

% EHICs in circulation for population

AT

1,015,397

8,059,279

5,061

8,404,252

95.90

BE

2,148,514

3,133,103

39,510

10,951,665

28.61

BG

94,997

139,121

49,968

7,504,868

1.85

CH

2,700,000

10,900,000

0

7,870,134

138.49

CY

42,502

44,789

21

804,435

5.57

CZ 

80,000

10,000,000

8,000

10,532,770 

94.94

DE 

0

45,000,000

0

81,751,602

55.04

DK

237,558

1,688,669

0

5,560,628 

30.36

EE

69,693

100,005

13,833

134,0194 

7.46

EL

170,129

104,248

29,211

11,309,885 

0.92

ES

1,937,656

3,401,306

900,703

46,152,926

7.34

FI

382,870

1,025,552

18,244

5,375,276

19.08

FR

4,859,876

4,859,876

1,807,777

65,048,412

7.47

HU

369,638

946,987

27,498

9,985,722 

9.48

IE

414,649

1,216,247

86,362

4,480,858

27.14

IS

37,566

73,912

541

318,452

23.21

IT

7,820,789

59,814,580

225,090

60,626,442

98.66

LI

1,048

36,953

60

36,149 

102.22

LT

117,016

244,604

15,281

3,244,601 

7.54

LU

125,304

504,662

14,757

511,840

98.60

LV

58,389

155,693

437

2,229,641

6.98

MT

44,254

154,378

17

417,617

36.97

NL

6,159,716

4,991,186

10,616

16,655,799

29.97

NO

519,284

1,100,000

6,990

4,920,305 

22.36

PL

1,456,059

1,225,502

16,010

38,200,037 

3.21

PT

391,603

1,109,641

22,910

10,636,979

10.43

RO 

328,787

200,563

22,493

21,413,815

0.94

SE

1,117,989

3,000,000

13,126

9,415,570

31.86

SI

671,496

646,675

171,532

2,050,189

31.54

SK

543,701

1,554,099

129,552

5,435,273 

28.59

UK

7,477,159

23,025,502

4,694

62,435,709

36.88

total

41,393,639

188,457,132

3,640,294

Source: Annual questionnaire to Member States, 2011; Population figures: Eurostat, data from 2011

The European Health Insurance Card continues to make it easier for people in 31 European countries (the EU’s 27 Member States, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) to access healthcare services during temporary visits abroad. A patient in possession of the card is entitled to the same access to public sector healthcare in case of illness or an accident (e.g. a doctor, a pharmacy, a hospital or a health care centre) as the nationals of the country he or she is visiting.

Currently over 188 million people in Europe have the European Health Insurance Card (or a replacement certificate) according to the most recent figures provided by countries participating in the scheme. This is over 37% of the total EU population.

It is up to national authorities of EU countries to ensure that people are aware of the existence of the Card, that it is easily available and that the Card can be used by visitors to their country to gain access to urgent healthcare. The Commission continues to work with EU Member States to fully implement the system and contribute to EU citizens' awareness of the benefits of EHIC.

Comments on the table:

  • Denmark, Germany and Switzerland have not provided data on PRCs since 2008; no estimation has been made for the number of PRCs issued.

  • It appears that, in Switzerland, some citizens used more than one EHIC. No comment on this was provided by the national authorities.

  • Sweden did not provide the number of EHICs in circulation for 2011, so the table reports data from 2010. Data from 2009 was used for Cyprus and Germany and data from 2008 for Estonia for the same reason.

  • Germany has not provided the number of EHICs issued since 2008 – it is reported as 0 in the table. Data from 2009 was used for Italy and from 2010 for Sweden.

For more information

European Health Insurance Card website: http://ehic.europa.eu/

EU Social Security Coordination website:

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=849&langId=en

Audio-visual material on the European Health Insurance Card:

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=702&langId=en&videosId=2526&vl=en&furtherVideos=yes

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=702&langId=en&videosId=2121&vl=en&furtherVideos=yes

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=702&langId=en&videosId=1301&vl=en&furtherVideos=yes

Contacts :

Jonathan Todd (+32 2 299 41 07)

Nadège Defrère (+32 2 296 45 44)


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