Health literacy

Thursday, 02.10.2014 | 12:30 - 14:00

Organised by Maastricht University and MSD Europe, Inc.

Health literacy is a strategy to empower people making choices in terms of health. Health literacy will be instrumental in the context of the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive and general mobility of people.

This session will look at a future Europe becoming more ‘mobile’ in terms of health and health care; it addresses the following questions:

  • What can European citizens expect from a EU single health market?
  • How far does a single health market contribute to reducing health inequalities between regions but also between social groups such as migrants?
  • What steps are to be taken concerning EU citizens’ health literacy for them to benefit from cross-border healthcare?

The Cross-Border Healthcare Directive which is currently in its implementation phase allows to the possibility to receive treatment outside the home country and promises better access to health care abroad. It bears the potential to reduce health inequalities between regions and populations. Despite the benefits and opportunities there lie also a few challenges ahead – language, culture, diversity of health systems. Providing clear rules and reliable information to patients regarding access to, quality of and reimbursement for healthcare received in another EU country will be key to enable people to make healthy choices.


Karin Kadenbach, Member of the European Parliament (S&D, Austria)

Jan Geissler, Director, European Patients Academy on Therapeutic Innovation (cancelled)

Ramazan Salman, Director, Ethno-Medical Center Hannover (MiMi Project)

Sylvain Giraud, Head of Unit, Strategy and International Unit, DG Health and Consumers, European Commission

Peteris Zilgalvis, Head of Unit, Health and Well-Being Unit, DG CONNECT, European Commission


Peter O’Donnell, Associate Editor, European Voice

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