In the first phase of the project we identified the most important actors involved in the issue of cross-border emergency services and invited them to participate in the project as well as in the working group. Representatives were sent to the working group from The National Ambulance Service (NAS; Országos Mentőszolgálat or OMSZ in Hungarian), the National Institute of Health Insurance Fund Management (Hungarian acronym: NEAK), the National Healthcare Service Center (ÁEEK), and the Ministry of Human Capacities, Office of the Chief Medical Officer (EMMI).
1st working group meeting – Budapest, 6 July 2017
In the framework of the first working group meeting, a smaller group of the participants (OMSZ, NEAK) assisted by the employees of CESCI identified the issues that are critical in terms of legal harmonisation. These significantly go beyond the medical-professional sector, covering inter alia transport, communication and the language competence of those taking part in emergency services. In addition, with the representative of NEAK, they reviewed comprehensively the domestic and EU aspects of the emergency service’s funding. Those present began to identify EU and national laws relevant to specific subjects, and to review options with the aim of surmounting obstacles. At the end of the meeting they agreed on the further actions and their scheduling.
2nd working group meeting – Budapest, 13 September 2017
The second working group meeting took place with the former participants, together with the employee of the ÁEEK, who phrased several questions covering cross-border emergency services in detail, but important in terms of practical implementation: In the case of services performed abroad, how should the waybill be completed? What kind of protection are ambulance services provided with abroad? , etc. The majority of the questions was partly or fully answered in the course of the meeting, however there were cases that required further gathering of information, review of legislation or the involvement of sectoral experts. In the second half of the meeting, participants began to clarify methodological issues necessary to the designation of the health service zones along the borders and to identify the requirements for data and information, necessary for the fulfilment of the task.
3rd working group meeting – Budapest, 11 October 2017
The third working group meeting was opened by the employees of CESCI, who reported on the progress of the project as regards the clarification of technical matters and data collection. They said, that during the period since the previous meeting, they managed to contact the experts of Pro-M Zrt., the provider of radio communication for OMSZ, as well as companies providing ambulances and the staff with insurance, who answered the questions raised previously. Subsequently, together with two employees of the Ministry of Human Capacities, Office of the Chief Medical Officer (EMMI), they reviewed the possibilities of extending the authorisation and permission necessary for performing emergency services abroad, and outlined their final proposals to that effect. In the second half of the meeting, the questions that formerly remained unanswered were clarified and the methodology of designating health service zones along the borders was finalised.
4th working group meeting – Budapest, 23 November 2017
The draft version of the overall study and the proposal on the bilateral agreement, as the main outputs of the project were delivered and sent to the members of the working group in the middle of November. The experts reviewed the documents and shares their questions and comments before the forth working group meeting. During the meeting these questions and remarks were discussed and clarified one by one. Following the meeting, the experts of CESCI have modified the concerned documents accordingly.