THE European Parliament has approved a new law allowing patients to receive medical care in another EU country.

The new legislation, which will be adopted by all member states by 2013, has only one condition; that the treatment and costs would normally be covered in their own country.

Any objections to treatment must be justified according to a list of reasons, such as risks to the patient or the general public.

However, patients will need to seek authorisation for any specialised treatments or overnight hospitalisation.

“This directive will at last clear up patients’ rights because until now they have been very vague,” said French MEP Françoise Grossetête.