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Europe

European Health Card Launched

EU citizens of thirteen countries can apply from Tuesday for a European health insurance card that will ensure medical care throughout the EU.

EU citizens of thirteen countries can apply from Tuesday for a European health insurance card. The card is meant to secure students and job seekers free emergency care throughout the EU. Over time the card could become a kind of medical passport entitling holders to medical care anywhere in the EU, the BBC reported. It is set to replace the current E111 forms with a single personalized card in a bid to reduce red tape. The card also aims at securing quicker reimbursement for patients from their own social security system after treatment in another country. Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Spain, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Estonia and Slovenia are all expected to introduce the card immediately, while the other EU states will follow before the end of 2005. The card entitles holders to necessary healthcare in the public system of any EU / EEA member state or Switzerland if they become ill or injured while on a temporary stay in that country. It does not cover the cost of treatment in a private setting. (EUobserver.com)

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