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European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA)
News article17 July 2023European Health and Digital Executive Agency2 min read

On holidays: safe exchange of health data across borders thanks to eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure

 On holidays: safe exchange of health data across borders thanks to eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure

During summer, many people in Europe travel to other countries to enjoy their holidays. Before leaving, don’t forget to double-check that your Patient Summary is available in your holiday destination, and that you can have your prescriptions delivered there. This type of service is already active between some EU countries and will be rolled out further.

The eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure (eHDSI) facilitates the movement of health data across national borders, ensuring the continuity of care and the safety of patients seeking healthcare outside their home country. eHDSI is funded by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme, and other initiatives in this field are supported by CEF-Telecom:

  • In Finland, as part of the national eHealth service Kanta, permanent cross-border digital health services have been established and deployed. As a result, Finnish patients can have access to their prescriptions through a dedicated ePrescription Centre. The eDispensation service covers all pharmacies in Finland and people from other participating countries can collect their medications there. About 700 Finnish pharmacies have dispensed around 1 250 foreign ePrescriptions in 2020. Between 2019 and 2020, 11 500 Finnish ePrescriptions have been administered abroad.
  • Deployment of cross-border eHealth services in Croatia: In Croatia, a National Contact Point for eHealth (NCPeH) was set up and the cross-border digital health services for ePrescriptions and ePatient Summaries have been launched. Overall, twelve functional cross-border services were made available thanks to the project, such as ePrescriptions with Finland, Estonia, and Portugal and Patient Summaries with Malta, Czech Republic, and Portugal.

eHealth is also supported by projects and initiatives funded under the Thirds health programme and the EU4Health programme. In particular, the Joint Action TEHDAS (Towards European Health Data Space) is supporting EU countries and the European Commission in building a European Health Data Space (EHDS). The Joint Action, funded by the Third health programme, is working to improve cross-border secondary use of health data for the benefit of citizens’ health.  The EHDS will allow European citizens, communities, and companies to benefit from secure and seamless access to health data, regardless of where it is stored. The project has recently developed recommendations for the implementation of the EHDS’ technical infrastructure.


Connecting Europe Facility

eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure (eHDSI) is made possible through the set-up and operation of National Contact Points for eHealth (NCPeH) for the exchange of health data and the provision of cross-border ePrescription/eDispensation and Patient Summary services. Several NCPeHs were successfully set up and the first EU countries started exchanging health data in early 2019.

Thanks to these services, health professionals are provided with essential information in their language about patients travelling from another EU country, and patients can obtain their medication in a pharmacy outside their EU home country.


Since 2003, the First, Second and Third health programmes have implemented EU health policy. Their successor, EU4Health, is the fourth and largest of the EU health programmes. The programme provides funding to national authorities, health organisations and other bodies through grants and public procurement, contributing to a healthier Europe.

HaDEA manages the vast majority of the total EU4Health budget and implements the programme by managing calls for proposals and tenders from 2021 to 2027.


Publication date
17 July 2023
European Health and Digital Executive Agency
Programme Sector
  • Health
  • Digital
  • EU4Health
  • Connecting Europe Facility 1
  • Digital technology
  • Digital transformation
  • EUFunded
  • Health data