HealthManagement, Volume 9, Issue 1 /2007


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EAHM Adopts Position Paper as Part of EU Consultation on Cross-Border Health Services

Meeting on 15 December 2006, the EAHM board agreed the Association’s official position as part of the European Commission’s consultation exercise on cross-border health services. The paper’s key elements include a call for the introduction of a Europe-wide definition of the term “Quality in Health Care”, the creation of a European accreditation model for testing quality and better options for comparing services.


One of the cornerstones of the document is the Association’s demand that barriers to the free movement of doctors in training are eliminated. While qualifications awarded on completion of medical training are recognised in other EU Member States, mutual recognition requirements do not extend to services provided by doctors engaged in specialist training, even though official recognition is required for certification purposes. In some cases, doctors are prevented from applying for a training place to gain a specialist title in another Member State because the necessary admission number will not be allocated on the basis that they did not complete basic training in that Member State.


The EAHM paper argues that such factors impede free movement in services in the internal market and prevent cross-border cooperation among health service providers. The Association calls on the European Union to engage in support activities, such as collecting data on patient mobility, which would enable Member States to improve planning. It should also assist Member States in removing secondary barriers to cross-border care by tackling problems patients experience when they return following treatment abroad. For instance, many patients have difficulty accessing after-care services or obtaining medicines prescribed while abroad.


The policy document also draws attention to the fees charged for treating patients abroad, payment procedures, the length of the payment period, and the need for clarity on liability issues. The EAHM favours the introduction of a universal system of compensation for patients affected by medical error.


The EAHM position paper is available on the homepage at


Seminar on Accreditation of Health Services on 16 November 2007

Also at the December meeting, the EAHM Board agreed a date for its seminar on accreditation for health service providers, which will be held on:


16 November 2007

The event will take place in conjunction with this year’s EAHM General Assembly which will be held as part of the MEDICA exhibition in Düsseldorf. The German Hospital Congress will also take place at the exhibition and will feature a new, multilingual international forum.


For further information or to download a copy of the programme or registration details, please check the EAHM website at


Personalities: President Paul Castel Appointed Director of the Hospices Civils in Lyons

On 17 January 2007, Paul Castel, EAHM President and Director of the Strasbourg University Hospitals, was appointed Director of the Hospices Civils in Lyons. Mr Castel, who has been in charge of Strasbourg’s hospitals since 1998, is also the President of the Conference of Directors of French University Hospitals.


Employing 20 000 staff, the Hospices Civils in Lyons consist of 17 separate hospitals with an overall capacity of 5 384 beds and 358 day clinic places. They treat approximately 170 000 inpatients and 835 000 outpatients every year, and have an annual throughput of as many as 190 000 emergency cases. In 2004, they had a combined budget of 1 338 billion.


The Mayor of Lyons, Gérard Collomb, welcomed the appointment, describing Mr Castel as a “very important director who will give excellent leadership on the major projects under way in the region and make the hospitals of Lyons a focus of excellence in the French health sector.”


Survey to Measure Patient Satisfaction in EAHM Member Countries

In November 2006 members of the EAHM Board were circulated with a short survey on the issue of patient satisfaction and the methods deployed in individual countries to determine levels of same.


The French Health Ministry had asked EAHM President Paul Castel to collect European data on matters such as the national regulations in place for dealing with how patient satisfaction surveys are carried out and the manner in which their results are published as well as the effectiveness of such surveys. Ten EAHM member states submitted responses and a short report summarising their contents is available either from Helicia Herman ([email protected]) or on the EAHM website.


Paul Castel would like to express his sincere gratitude to his colleagues for their cooperation in collecting the data, particularly in view of the short timeframe available.

EAHM Adopts Position Paper as Part of EU Consultation on Cross-Border Health Services<br> Meeting on 15 December 2006, the EAHM board agreed the Associat

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