In a groundbreaking development set to transform healthcare access for travellers and European Union (EU) citizens in Spain, the Ministry of Health has unveiled a significant leap forward in electronic prescriptions. This momentous shift promises to enhance convenience and ease for those in need of prescribed medications, whether they're on a journey abroad or residing in Spain.
As of last month, Spain's Ministry of Health has initiated a comprehensive online system that allows individuals registered in the Spanish health system to access their patient summary healthcare records (Historia Clínica Resumida) seamlessly across EU member countries. This initiative, geared toward improving patient access to medical records, extends to encompass electronic prescriptions (e-Precription/e-Dispensation) as well.
Under this groundbreaking system, individuals can now have medications prescribed electronically by health professionals in their country of origin fulfilled at any pharmacy in another EU country participating in the program. This innovative approach will enable Spanish citizens traveling abroad and European citizens residing in Spain to acquire their prescribed medications using their health cards, simplifying the process significantly.
Notably, 78% of individuals registered in Spain's public health system will gain access to their patient summary healthcare records across EU countries, marking a major stride forward in cross-border healthcare cooperation. This development will greatly facilitate the purchase of medications during travels, ensuring patients receive the necessary treatment without any unnecessary hurdles.
Regions in Spain with access to patient summary healthcare records (HCR), including Andalucía, Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, Community of Madrid, Community of Valencia, Galicia, Navarre, and the Basque Country, can now share medical history summaries with healthcare professionals in France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Croatia, and Malta. Meanwhile, regions such as Murcia, the Canary Islands, Greece, the Czech Republic, and Estonia are in the testing phase, expected to join the program soon.
Furthermore, electronic prescriptions at the European level are now active in Andalucía, Aragon, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Community of Madrid, Community of Valencia, Extremadura, Galicia, Navarra, the Basque Country, Ceuta, and Melilla. Patients in these regions can obtain their prescriptions at participating pharmacies in Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Poland, and Portugal, where the service is available. Testing phases are also underway in Asturias and Murcia, with future expansion planned for Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Sweden, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Patients from countries with access to these services can now seamlessly utilise the Spanish public health service, leveraging their pre-existing clinical information and accessing prescriptions for medicines prescribed in their countries of origin at any pharmacy in the participating regions.
As part of this transformative initiative, regional health services will collaborate with the Ministry of Health to update their systems, adhering to the criteria outlined by the European Commission. This strategic partnership aims to harmonise healthcare access and enhance patient experiences for travelers and EU citizens in Spain, marking a major milestone in the realm of electronic healthcare.
September 20, 2023