Lithuanians who have mandatory health insurance will be able to undergo treatment of extremely rare diseases in other countries of the European Union (EU) that have the necessary specialists, visiting members of the European Commission said in Vilnius on Thursday.
Santarikės Clinic
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

In their words, the European Commission has established a European network of reference centers for the purpose, aimed at treatment of especially rare diseases and complicated conditions. Under the model, hospitals across the EU will receive patients in 937 areas.

Lithuania will have 12 of the areas, with eight of them coordinated by the Vilnius University's Santariškės Clinic and the remaining four by the Kaunas Clinic.

The new model will step into force on March 9, European Commissioner Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis in charge of health and food safety said.

"This will pave way for the so-called Cross-Border Healthcare Directive, which will ensure a possibility for Europeans to get treatment in assigned centers in any part of Europe," Andriukaitis told journalists in the Santariškės Clinic.

In his words, the model aims to make use of the advantages of the national health care systems.

Lithuania's Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga said Lithuania's participation in the network demonstrates that "Lithuanian specialists have achieved an extremely high professional level."

Every EU nation will separately stipulate compensation for the treatment its citizen receives in another EU country.

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