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Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Estonians can now purchase prescription medications in Greece

Starting this week, citizens of Estonia and Greece have the ability to use cross-border e-prescription and patient summary services, marking a significant step in the digitalization of healthcare services and supporting the mobility of citizens across Europe.

Estonians can now purchase medications in Greece based on an Estonian e-prescription and vice versa; Greek citizens can buy medications in Estonia with a Greek e-prescription. Additionally, healthcare professionals in both countries have access to each other’s health data, ensuring better continuity and quality of care across borders, the Estonian Health and Welfare Information Systems Centre (TEHIK) said in a press release.

“This innovation means much more than just convenience. It represents a sense of security and assurance that our health is protected while traveling,” Aurelia Mihk, manager of cross-border data exchange services at TEHIK, said. “For example, if an Estonian family is vacationing in Greece and a family member unexpectedly needs medical care, local healthcare professionals can immediately access their health data in their native language or purchase the necessary medication based on an Estonian e-prescription. This makes treatment faster and more effective, while also reducing stress and worry.”

“I can imagine how important this service is for the elderly, for instance, who spend the winter months in warmer countries,” Mihk added. “Previously, their continuous medical monitoring could be challenging, but now their health data and e-prescriptions are accessible across borders, ensuring continuous and quality care.”

For Estonian citizens, the process in Greece is as simple as it is at home: going to a pharmacy with an ID-card or passport allows the pharmacist to access e-prescriptions based on the personal identification code. For Greeks, the national social security number (AMKA) is used for identification, which must be presented to the pharmacist along with an identity document.

“The steps taken today not only improve the quality and availability of healthcare services but also create closer ties between European countries,” Mihk said. “This is proof of how technology can make our daily lives better, safer, and more convenient.”

This initiative is part of a broader European Union cross-border data exchange project, which already includes several member states: Spain, Croatia, Poland, Portugal, Finland, the Czech Republic, and now Greece. More countries, including Latvia, are expected to join soon, further expanding the opportunities for Estonian citizens to use healthcare services across Europe.

In addition to cross-border digital prescription data exchange, Estonian patients’ health data is now accessible to healthcare workers in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France, Portugal, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Spain, Malta, and Greece.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)


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