43% of the residents of the Upper Rhine are willing to seek treatment in a neighboring country

Written November 2, 2022, 5:05 p.mUpdated November 2, 2022 at 17.43

In order to seek treatment faster, or in their native language, 12% of the inhabitants of the Upper Rhine (the Franco-German-Swiss area stretching from Basel to northern Alsace) have already traveled to one of the two neighboring countries for care. This is the result of a study carried out by the tri-national competence center for health cooperation (Trisan) based in Kehl, Germany. Among these people are, not surprisingly, border workers who are insured on both sides of a border. “This is the first audience. 24% of border workers have care habits in their country of activity”, emphasizes Eddie Pradier, coordinator of the study at Trisan. By removing border commuters, mobility for care still increases to 8%.

“43% of respondents say they are ready to go to a neighboring country for treatment,” continues Eddie Pradier. For this, certain obstacles pointed out in the study must be removed, such as the long repayment times on the French side, the difficulty of the association of the beneficiaries by border workers or the lack of information about access to care for possible users. “We work very regularly with the three countries’ health funds to improve cooperation”, points out Eddie Pradier. The organization has already published bilingual information documents to answer questions people may have before seeking treatment in a neighboring country.

Health strategy

The exchanges between the cross-border authorities of the Upper Rhine – Trisan, but also the Upper Rhine Conference, the Euro institute – with regard to health cooperation also make it possible to address other points. Just like education and the attractiveness of the health professions, the three countries are experiencing recruitment tensions in the field. Health is also a strategic focus in cooperation arrangements between countries. An Interreg project is underway between northern Alsace (Saverne, Haguenau) and the neighboring German states to simplify the management of cross-border healthcare. In the southern part of Alsace, the local health contract established between the Regional Health Agency (ARS) and the urban area of ​​Saint-Louis, neighboring Basel in Switzerland, contains a section on cross-border cooperation.

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