Questions and answers for citizens

In cross-border electronic services, your personal data will always be processed and protected in accordance with the current legislation of the European Union and with the practices in force in your country of residence and in the country of destination.

In some countries of residence, the cross-border exchange of your health data may be permitted by law and does not require any action on your part. However, in other countries of residence, you must give your consent expressly, which means that you will have to sign a document (similar to a privacy statement). Depending on your country, you can do so by contacting your doctor or electronically, connecting to a specific website or web portal established by your national authority. Please note that in the event that your consent is required and you do not give it in your country of residence prior to your departure or through the mobile portal during the journey, it will not be possible for the doctor in the country of destination to have access to your health data.

In your destination country you may also be asked to sign another document (similar to a privacy statement) that allows the doctor in that country to access your health data. It is important to know that your health data is exchanged through a secure communication channel and can only be accessed by healthcare professionals who are clearly and safely identified and authorized to access your health data. Strict security measures have been put in place to ensure that unauthorized persons cannot access your medical data.

Depending on the Member State, you may be asked, before you leave, to check through your doctor or the national patient portal whether your health data are automatically available for cross-border electronic services or whether you need to give your consent for this. If you have on-line access to your health data, pay attention to the instructions you receive on how to give your consent electronically.

In addition, make sure that you have a document to clearly identify yourself (see question below).

Finally and if necessary, give your consent for the healthcare professional to access your medical data.

When you see a doctor in the country of travel, you must clearly identify yourself. Each country has defined the type of identification document that the patient must show to identify themselves when using the EUPS. You should check with your own national contact point which identification document you need.

In the case of citizens whose country of affiliation is Spain, to be treated in another EU country, in addition to the European Health Insurance Card (TSE), you must present the Individual Healthcare Insurance Card (TSI) so that the healthcare professional who treats you can correctly identify you in access to your Patient Summary (Patient Summary of the European Union). In cases where your TSI does not include a photo of you, it may be necessary to show your ID card.

As a EU citizen, if you unexpectedly fall ill during a temporary stay abroad, you are entitled to any treatment for which you cannot wait until you arrive in your home country. You have the same rights to medical care as insured persons in the country in which you are located.

It is advisable to carry your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card is the physical proof that you are insured in an EU country and will simplify the payment and reimbursement procedures. However, if you do not have your card or have difficulty using it, you cannot be denied treatment, although you may need to pay upfront and request reimbursement once you return home. Also remember to bring your Spanish Health Card in case you need your clinical information for your assistance or withdraw a medicinal product prescribed in Spain at a pharmacy in another country.

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