Healthcare abroad divides the medical profession

By Camille FratiLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

In certain medical and surgical fields, the transfer of patients abroad is giving rise to strong tensions, between practitioners who defend the idea of a national priority and those who argue in favour of the free choice of doctors and patients.

Last February, the Lëtzebuerger Journal reported on the increasing difficulties encountered by doctors and patients in obtaining reimbursement from the National Health Fund (CNS) for treatment abroad, whether for surgery or treatment. A recent change in procedure should put an end to these difficulties: it is now the CNS that makes the decision, whereas previously it was bound by the opinion of the Social Security Medical Inspectorate.

While it is still too early to assess the effect of this new modus operandi – a review is due to be carried out after the summer – it appears that the article in the Lëtzebuerger Journal has provoked reactions revealing another facet of the problem. For it turns out that the principle of "everything that can be done in Luxembourg must be done in Luxembourg" put forward by the Contrôle Médical resonates with some doctors and surgeons, while others are demanding to be able to send their patients where they will receive the best care in their situation, whether in the Grand Duchy or abroad.

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