Multilevel Governance in the field of Healthcare – examples from Czechia and Austria
The region of South Bohemia is working towards the development of healthcare in the cross-border region
- December 20, 2019 10:30
The Region of South Bohemia belongs to two different EU Member States – Austria and the Czech Republic. Under the 2014-2020 INTERREG V-A Austria-Czech Republic Program, the two countries have been developing a common project in the field of healthcare.
In the spirit of one of the main principles of the EU, the one of multilevel governance, the region of South Bohemia is working towards the development of healthcare in the cross-border region. The project includes the region around Gmünd (Austria) and České Velenice (the Czech Republic). The issue that has existed for years is that there is no hospital in České Velenice and the people must travel 60km to get to the nearest on the Czech side while there is a perfectly good one in Gmünd.
In its initial phase, the project envisaged cross-border patient care in Gmünd as well as treatment. The next phase includes the construction of a cross-border health centre called Cross-border Health Cube. This will shorten the travel time and the risks of fatal outcomes in certain situations and will increase the added value of the region.
Despite the fact that there are huge differences in the healthcare provided in different Member States, such a project ensures the right to equal healthcare. This is an innovative idea that lays the groundwork to a future, multilevel and decentralized governance of the EU. It starts with healthcare and can spill over to more issues of primary concern in similar cross border regions.
The Beginning of a New Era in Cross-border Healthcare
The ground-breaking ceremony of the new cross-border health centre took place in May 2019 and it is envisaged that the project will be finalized in 2020. The centre will help to better the healthcare system and patient services on both sides of the border. In addition, it will create new jobs. The expenses will be paid directly from the health insurance of the person in need regardless of his nationality.
The new medical centre will encompass a variety of medical procedures, preventive measures, specialists in different fields of medicine, therapeutical care, etc.
Maybe one of the most important results from this project is that it puts the regions on the map of EU decision-making and innovative initiative. It has long been considered that the EU is too distant from the problems of ordinary people. But it`s the people who can and actually do bring their problems to the EU and it finds a way to help resolve these issues. The project Health across is an excellent example of how two countries can work together towards a common good with the support of the Union. Multilevel governance in action!
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