Citizens of the EU Member States have three routes of funding drug and alcohol treatment at one of our residential rehabilitation centres. They can either pay the treatment costs privately; through private medical insurance; or apply for treatment through a new EU Cross-Border Healthcare Directive. Below you will find more information about the last option.

What is the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive?

The Cross-Border Healthcare Directive (CBD) came into effect in October 2013 and makes it easier for citizens of European Union member states to have their treatment at Castle Craig funded by their national healthcare system. Under the directive, EU/EEA citizens that want to travel abroad for medical treatment, such as residential treatment for alcoholism and other addictions, can claim reimbursement from their home healthcare providers.

How to Access Residential Rehabilitation under the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive?

The procedure for gaining access to residential addiction treatment will be different from country to country. We advise that you first contact the National Contact Point of your home country, who can inform you about your specific entitlements and the administrative procedure for claiming reimbursement. For links to all the National Contact Points in the EU, please visit this page.

How do I know if I am entitled to receive treatment abroad? In what cases can someone seek treatment abroad?

There are a number of valid reasons which entitle you to receive treatment abroad:

  • There may be long waiting times to receive residential rehab treatment in your home country;
  • If the medical treatment that you are seeking abroad "corresponds to benefits provided for" in your home country and a medical doctor assesses you as needing this treatment then you are entitled to apply for cross-border care;
  • Your home country does not offer the same type of comprehensive rehab treatment programme that Castle Craig or Smarmore Clinic provide;
  • You may decide to access “a different method of treatment than that provided in the Member State of affiliation”;
  • You are entitled to cross-border care if you believe the high standards and quality of care at Castle Craig or Smarmore Clinic exceed those available in your home country;
  • The decision may also be based on the credentials of our staff, the quality of treatment and excellent outcomes;
  • It may be that your nearest hospital is across a border, or you want to travel back to your country of origin to get treatment;
  • Personal preference is enough to seek treatment abroad and claim reimbursement, but you should add more information in the application to your healthcare provider by giving specific arguments as to why you want to travel to Castle Craig or Smarmore Clinic. This is particularly relevant in cases where prior authorisation (see below) is required.

What does one need to do to be referred for treatment under the CBD?

To gain cross border treatment, all you need is a referral from an EU/EEA clinician. Some countries require a GP’s or specialist’s involvement from your local area but this is not always the case. Your National Contact Point should be able to advise you on the required documents.

How does the payment process work?

Under the Directive, the patient should usually cover the treatment costs individually and then seek reimbursement upon returning to their home country. However, the Directive also gives the option that national healthcare funding pays for the treatment directly. You need to check with your National Contact Point if your country provides this. Reimbursements will be made according to the published reimbursement rates available from the National Contact Point, information which must be made clear to the patient upon request.

What is Prior Authorisation?

The Directive gives member states the option of implementing a system of prior authorisation for certain treatments, such as a treatment involving an overnight stay in a hospital or that requires highly specialised equipment. This means that the patient has to get official approval for the treatment they seek before travelling abroad for it.

To find out more about prior authorisation and reimbursement procedures, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions here.

Contact Us

If you encounter administrative difficulties or need more information to handle your request for treatment abroad under the Cross Border Directive, contact our consultants, who can provide further assistance.