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The study investigates past achievements and potential future developments in the field
of cross-border healthcare collaboration. The findings are based on a mapping of EUfunded cross-border healthcare initiatives, foresight modelling for cross-border healthcare in 2030, a systematic literature review on fraud and fraud mitigation in crossborder healthcare and an evaluation of take-up of the Joint Action on Patient Safety and Quality of Care (PaSQ). The study also provides practical tools to assist stakeholders, including local and regional authorities, who intend to start a cross-border healthcare collaboration project.
The study enhances an in-depth understanding of cross-border healthcare collaborations and provides new knowledge to the field on different aspects of cross-border healthcare research. Seven lessons are summarised in the following:
1. Cross-border healthcare initiatives are more effective in regions where ease of
cooperation is already established, e.g. due to similar welfare traditions or close historical ties.
2. Support should be given to key players such as regional policy-makers or hospital
managers to reduce transaction costs of cross-border healthcare. The toolbox developed in this study can provide help1.
3. There are several scenarios for future cross-border healthcare, one of the most
realistic ones being one which builds regional networks oriented towards addressing
local and regional needs.
4. Regional networks are likely to represent a low-cost option, but the downsides are
that they are likely to remain small-scale and they may create inequities by not benefiting all regions equally.
5. Top categories of cross-border healthcare initiatives to receive EU-funding over the
past 10 years are 1) knowledge sharing and management, and 2) shared treatment &
diagnosis of patients.
6. Collaborations such as high-cost capital investments and emergency care tend to
have more discernible economic and social benefits, but require more formalised
terms of cooperation.
7. Although information on the effectiveness and sustainability of current cross-border
healthcare initiatives is scarce, funding of CBHC projects could help achieve these aims